Wayne Rooney

Premier League On This Day
Adam Davy - EMPICS / Contributor

On This Day: Lingard’s sensational strike wins FA Cup for Man Utd (video)

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Alan Pardew’s hips lied.

The Crystal Palace man was caught on camera doing some sort of samba after Jason Puncheon had given the Eagles a late lead over Manchester United on this date in the 2016 FA Cup Final.

Unfortunately for the London set, Juan Mata had an answer and the Red Devils overcame a Chris Smalling red card in extra time to score a 2-1 win on a picture-perfect volley from Jesse Lingard.

The win was United’s 12th in the FA Cup, bringing it level with Arsenal before the Gunners beat Chelsea the following year.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

The Eagles scored in the 78th minute. Puncheon’s corner kick was cleared away from the box but picked up by Joel Ward, who spotted the forward at the back post.

Puncheon took a touch and beat David De Gea high from close range. It was 1-0, and ‘Pards’ was loving it.

The lead lasted three minutes, as Wayne Rooney led a dribble through the Palace team and was forced to cross from the right side of the box. Marouane Fellaini’s chest trap fell to Mata, who made no mistake.

The match went to extra time, and United went down a man in the 105th minute when Chris Smalling added a second yellow card to the one he collected in the 18th minute.

Again, the joy for Palace was short-lived. Antonio Valencia drove the right flank to send in a cross that was blocked into the path of Lingard.

The technique was marvelous, and United completed its dozen of FA Cup trophies.

Premier League On this Day: Rooney’s famous volley v. Newcastle (video)

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If you were to think back to some of the most spectacular goals scored in Premier League history, you wouldn’t get past no. 3 or no. 4 on the list before Wayne Rooney’s famous volley against Newcastle United.

[ MORE: On this Day in Premier League history

On this day in 2005, a 19-year-old new boy at Manchester United, Rooney announced himself onto an even grander stage a few years after scoring his first, and equally, iconic goal — a stunning curler against Arsenal as a 16-year-old for Everton in 2002.

[ MORE: Eredivisie cancels 2019-20 season; will not declare champion ]

Up to the point of April 24, 2005, Rooney certainly hadn’t been a bust at Man United — far from it, as he finished his first season with 11 league goals (including this one) — but this was the moment that saw him ascend from productive youngster with a bright future and arrive as an international superstar at this very moment.

Rooney would, of course, go on to score 253 goals for United (all competitions) and leave Old Trafford as the club’s all-time leading goalscorer in 2017 — but few, if any, were more outstanding than the one he scored on this day in 2005.

Rooney: MLS taking advantage of trade structure, hindering American players

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Manchester United legend and former D.C. United Designated Player Wayne Rooney laments the way in which Major League Soccer owners take “advantage” of the league’s trade and transfer system.

MLS’ trade and transfer system, partly influenced by other top American sports leagues, has earned the league the reputation of being the world’s most complicated and complex soccer league in the past. Every season, like in the NBA, NFL, NHL, or MLB, dozens of players are traded within the league, with little to no transparency on the process.

Speaking to Perfect Soccer’s “Ask A Pro Show,” founded and hosted by MLS veteran Quincy Amarikwa, Rooney questioned the way the league’s owners are exploiting their players via the system and said that American players, specifically, are bearing the brunt of it all.

“I didn’t realize it before, but obviously when I got there (MLS), I seen it,” Rooney told Amarikwa, who was his teammate at D.C. United. “My first week, we had a player who, when he finished training, he got told he was getting transferred onto somewhere else. I was like, ‘Why? What’s going on here? Where is he going? What’s going on?’ So, it’s difficult. I spoke to Steve (Birnbaum) a lot. I was like, “Can he do that? Is it that easy to do? Is it that easy to actually move someone on?’ There’s no thought behind it in terms of this person might have a family, children…. a life here. They might get told, ‘You know what? Move on.'”

I know it works that way in basketball (NBA) and in NFL, but those players get paid millions and millions of pounds. So, they look forward to have to do that, where MLS players can’t. They probably get a small percentage of money which won’t even cover the bills, won’t even cover what they have to live on. It’s wrong for that to happen. I think MLS needs to really look at that because, from seeing it, a lot of them owners are taking advantage of the league [structure], which is affecting American players. It might benefit [others]. For me, I went there for 18 months, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] was there for two years. We benefited from getting good adaptation in the USA, scoring a few goals. But for the guys who you leave behind, which I’ve never gotten to speak to, it still sits wrong with me, deep inside of me, which I don’t think is the case with all foreign players who are coming in.

During his time in the league, Rooney, who left MLS in August 2019 with two years left in his contract, slammed the league for its travel arrangements, which provides its franchises a few charter options per season.

The 34-year-old ended his 18-month spell in the nation’s capital with 25 goals in 52 appearances, before returning to his native England to join Derby County as a player-coach.

Rooney pens op-ed on pay cut controversy, calls it a ‘disgrace’

Wayne Rooney
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There a few more resonant voices amongst active English players than Derby County captain Wayne Rooney.

A legend from his time with England and Manchester United, the Everton product carries a weight to which most players can only aspire.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Now the 34-year-old is lending his voice to the current controversy regarding players taking pay cuts during the coronavirus pandemic, with the government even making statements regarding the perceived necessity of sacrifice.

The Professional Footballers Association has weighed in a few times. Now, Rooney wrote a column that appeared in The Times (subscription required) on Sunday, in which he made several points on the issue.

“The first thing to say is that if Derby County needed me to take a pay cut to save the club I would understand and look to support them in whatever way I could. And if the government approached me to help support nurses financially or buy ventilators I’d be proud to do so — as long as I knew where the money was going.”

But Rooney says the story is more than simply foregoing wages in order to keep non-playing staff on the books or from going on furlough.

He says the government has made the players “easy targets” and asks why this process needs to play out in the public eye, saying that the players have been in the process of figuring out the best way to contribute via wages.

Rooney also says that Health Secretary Matt Hancock is trying to use Premier League players as a distraction to the English government’s actions during the pandemic. From Sky Sports:

“I’m in a position where I could give something up. Not every footballer is in the same position. Yet suddenly the whole profession has been put on the spot with a demand for 30 per cent pay cuts across the board. Why are footballers suddenly the scapegoats?

“How the past few days have played out is a disgrace. He (Hancock) was supposed to be giving the nation the latest on the biggest crisis we’ve faced in our lifetimes. Why was the pay of footballers even in his head? Was he desperate to divert attention from his government’s handling of this pandemic?”

Rooney admits Liverpool ‘deserve’ Premier League title

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Wayne Rooney has admitted that Liverpool deserve to win the Premier League title, even if a small part of the former Everton and Man United legend was hoping the season would be canceled.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

With Liverpool 25 points clear atop the Premier League table with nine games to go they were on the verge of sealing their first league title in 30 years before the 2019-20 PL season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There have been suggestions the 2019-20 season should be ‘null and void’ but the official stance from the Premier League and the English FA is that the current campaign will be ‘extended indefinitely’ as the will is to finish the season.

Writing in his new column for The Times, Rooney revealed that the temptation is there to push for the season to be called off due to the coronavirus pandemic but he’s put his club loyalties to one side to give Liverpool their dues.

“Liverpool will win the Premier League,” Rooney said. “Now, as you can imagine, I have Everton fans phoning me up saying: ‘The season has to be canceled!’ And, of course, as an Evertonian and someone who played for Manchester United for 13 years, there’s a bit in me that thinks that would be good. But no. Liverpool have been fantastic. They have put so much work in. They deserve this title. Can you imagine waiting 30 years and then having it taken away like this? The right decision has been made.

”It’s also right in terms of promotion and relegation and Champions League places. These issues are so big for the clubs involved that I imagine there would be a lot of legal fights if the season was just abandoned. The fair thing is to finish 2019-20 – even if we have to lose next season in the process. It wouldn’t surprise me if finishing the season takes until the end of 2020. Football, like every other industry, is in unknown territory and, just like every other industry, has to listen to the advice and take all necessary precautions. For me, that rules out finishing the season behind closed doors.”

Rooney’s sentiments are shared by pretty much everyone.

Even the most ardent Everton and Man United fans, among others, would admit that Liverpool are worthy champions and plans should be made to award them the title if the 2019-20 campaign can’t be resumed due to coronavirus.

Most people would agree with Rooney’s comments about the rest of the 2019-20 campaign too. If it takes until December to finish this season, that is how long it should take.