When Wayne Rooney scored the 250th goal in the games against Stoke City with a beautiful free kick, it had made him Manchester United all-time top goalscorer overtaking Sir Bobby Charlton of 249th goal a record that had stood for 44 years. Although this season he had become a bit-part player, they are one season where Wayne Rooney will have become United key player had the circumstance favors him. Wayne Rooney had made a debut with Manchester United in 2004 with a bang when he had scored a hat-trick against Fenerbahce in 6-2 group stages making him the youngest ever player to score a hat-trick in the UCL. He was 18 years and 355 days at that time.
With Beckham had transferred to Real Madrid and Ruud Van Nistelrooy had declined in form, Sir Alex Ferguson had decided that he will put the faith of United on the should of 2 youngster Wayne Rooney himself and Christiano Ronaldo. Both have them had repaid SAF trust as both had helped United to win Premier League in the season 2006-2007 after 3 years of Premier League trophy drought. Before the win in 2007, United last Premier League is in 2003 where they had famously overhauled Arsenal 8 point lead to clinch their title.
With the addition of Carlos Tevez in 2008, United had boasted an attacking trio of Rooney, Ronaldo, and Tevez that equalled the Holy Trinity of George Best, Dennis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton and with this trio they had won the Premier League title again in 2008 and winning their 3rd UCL trophy by beating Chelsea in a penalty shootout. In 2009 again they had clinched their title that had equaled the Premier League title count with Liverpool on 19, winning the League Cup but Barcelona had dented United hope to become the first team since AC Milan in 1990 to retain the title in UCL final in 2009. In the next season, Christiano Ronaldo had moved to Real Madrid for a world record fee of 80 million, Carlos Tevez had been transferred to Manchester City and Wayne Rooney had been given the nod to lead United attack.
This season is one of his best seasons with United. Although Rooney had been with United since 2004 but he was not given any task of becoming the main striker as the emergence of Christiano Ronaldo forces him to play a defensive role on the flanks in United flexible 4-6-0 system. In this season, Rooney had become the 20th player to score 100 goals for United when he scored 2 goals in 5-0 away win to Wigan. He also had scored his first hat-trick for United in 3 years in 4-1 away victory against Hull with 2 of them via penalties.
In this season to he makes another first in his football career as he had scored 4 goals in 4-0 win against Hull City. Again in the games against Arsenal, he had scored his 100th Premier League goal and for the first time had scored a goal in Emirates Stadium. In this season , Rooney had become an excellent header of the ball as his 2 headed goals gave United their first historic win against AC Milan in San Siro in UCL second round knockout stages when they had beaten them 3-2, scoring the winning goal in League Cup final against Aston Villa via header too, scored the first goal in return leg against AC Milan via header and in total he scored in 9 consecutive games via header. United in their club history had for the first time had defended a trophy and knocked out AC Milan after failed in previous 4 attempts.
Rooney had been imperious form and United look like to be the first English team to win 4 consecutive Premier League and to be first English team to compete in 3 consecutive European Cup final. But in the quarter-final first leg against Bayern Munich, things look to fall pieces by pieces for Rooney and United. First, even though they had been beaten by Bayern Munich in the first leg 2-1, United had been controlled the game and only a deflected free kick and the last-minute defensive error cost them their first win against Bayern Munich in German. But things went to worst when Wayne Rooney had been limped off because of the ankle injury and he was ruled out for several weeks and forced to miss out some important game especially the Premier League game against Chelsea.
In the second leg against Bayern Munich, United had been knocked out via an away goal even they had won 3-2. Rooney although played in this game but was substituted as he was not fully fit. What looks like a great season after the departure of Christiano Ronaldo turns to a nightmare as United Premier League challenge and their team performance had collapsed significantly without Rooney.
Rooney suffer an ankle injury
In this season, Rooney had scored 36 goals and he is more than capable of adding more if he not been injured. If Rooney had been injury free, United will have achieved the 4th consecutive title and progressed to their 3rd consecutive UCL final or maybe will add their 4th European trophy that years. After this imperious season, Rooney performance had dropped significantly and also infuriated SAF and United supporter when he had requested for a transfer and at some time said that United lack ambition.
SAF had decided since then to use Rooney as a bit player in the season to come especially his last season in a 2012-2013 season where Rooney had become a bit-part player. SAF had famously had put him on the bench and had given the main striker role to Danny Welbeck in the crucial UCL second round game against Real Madrid for both legs.
Rooney had been with Manchester United for 13 years starting from 2004 but he had not been given the main striker position. He had not established himself as what Ruud Van Nistelrooy had achieved and what Christiano Ronaldo had achieved but Rooney is a team player and willing to do any role even defensive role for the sake of the team. But in the season 2009-2010 he had prolific and majestic in his role as the main man but only an injury led to his downfall and although Rooney had become United top goal scorer all the time, his performance had been on downfall since this season and he is not the some Rooney that had terrorized the defence in the past.