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Wayne Rooney, football’s decathlete

He is not the best tackler in the world, not the best passer, not the best scorer, not best in the air, not the top one-on-one, not the best at set pieces (hmm… maybe), but to use a metaphor from the wonderful Athletics World Championship in Daegu – he is football’s decathlete. Remarkably good at almost everything. It is more amateurish, in the positive sense.

Ferguson has deployed him at a perfect position. Not a Scholes-type playmaker but a multi-upgrader for all departments. Upgrades Cleverley-Anderson from “project” to “Wow”. He adds freedom to Nani and Young – who are world class players to start with – by constantly switching positions. He gives an unexperienced Welbeck spaces to work in while joining him in a very deep press. He even helps out with the rookie back four.

I would say with cations. He is not as good as Messi or Ronaldo – they are the supreme specialists of the game – but he is currently doing more than them. In away justifying his wage in an original way – by doing the job of three or four players.

It may be dangerous. Over reliant. Few remember the Bryan Robson days with fondness. But so far, so good.

By Ronen Dorfan

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