Shearer Says: “Van Gaal style the cause of Rooney goal drought”
I was thrilled to see Wayne surpass Sir Bobby Charlton’s scoring record on Tuesday night, but the big question is why is he not showing that England goal-scoring form in the Premier League? Remember he has now gone 10 league games without scoring. I’m convinced that the reason behind his current drought is because of the system this Manchester United team is operating. He is playing up-front on his own and his teammates are completely possession-focused, rather than getting the ball forward quick enough. There is no doubt he will score goals this season, but I just can’t see him scoring nearly as many as he should, or could, when players around him are playing so slowly.
“Rooney has already cemented his status as an England great”
But now he’s England’s greatest goal-scorer, nobody can argue that Wayne Rooney is not an England great. I mean all you have to do is look at the history books to see the great names that he has surpassed; Jimmy Greaves, Gary Lineker and of course Sir Bobby Charlton. Yes, he’s now broken the record but I think he will do more than that, he will smash it, and unless someone comes and takes the shirt off his back, he is going to be around for years.
People will still argue that he’s not as good as Sir Bobby Charlton was, but I think it will take ten to fifteen years for us to appreciate him in this country. It’s hard to really appreciate someone until they retire. Let’s not forget, he’s had huge success in an England team that hasn’t been very good.
What I really want though is to see him playing alongside Harry Kane in the future. Their partnership reminds me of the Shearer/Sheringham ‘SAS’ days and I can see them working together in the same way that me and Teddy did.
“Apart from Rooney, there are no real superstars in this team”
Looking at the bigger picture, England have again qualified comfortably for a major tournament, yet we always seem to fall short on the big stage. Let’s face it we haven’t faced any really stern challenges in our qualifying group and it’s a different story when we actually get to the major tournaments, for the simple reasons that the opposition are better and we just aren’t good enough.
I have been involved in major tournaments like 1996 when we were good enough and we got so close to winning it. But nowadays, we are just not producing the number of top class players that we should be.
Apart from Rooney, there are no real superstars in this team. Yes, we’ve got Harry Kane, Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but they are not tried and tested at this level. They have had decent starts to their England careers and they have played some European football, but really they are unproven at this level. In some cases we are talking about players who aren’t even regular starters at their clubs.
I get fed up of talking about exciting talents and then they disappear off the radar in a few years’ time. Let’s be realistic about who we have at our disposal and let’s give them chance to grow together and improve.
But we have got to show progression from the World Cup in Rio two years ago because we were dreadful. We have got to get to a quarter-final at least or a semi-final, to even consider Euro 2016 as a success.
“The season has been a disaster for Chelsea both on and off the pitch”
Back to the Premier League, and before a ball was kicked I said Chelsea would win the title, and I think the vast majority of people thought the same bar the staunchest City, Man United and Arsenal fans. It’s too early to change my mind as of yet, despite Man City’s impressive start. They have put a marker down and sent a message out to their rivals, but it is too early to rule out Chelsea, so I’m sticking to my guns.
For the first month, there is no doubt that the season has been a disaster for Chelsea both on and off the pitch, but it can turn around so quickly and they could easily go on a run. With the quality players they have, it’s only a matter of time before they go and get a result. Having said that, they have to pick up their performance levels, because at least half the side have been short of the levels they were last season or even the season before that. They are capable of going on a good run and it must start this weekend against Everton.
“Van Gaal’s time is up now, he has to get results”
I’ve haven’t seen anything in Man United, Arsenal or Liverpool to suggest that they can go on and win the title and their managers are feeling the pressure already. Louis Van Gaal’s honeymoon period is over now; he has to get results especially given the money he has spent. He had last season to build his team, so he will be judged on this campaign. United have to win league titles and get into the Champions League. That’s what they are about.
Van Gaal isn’t the only one feeling the pressure though. With Liverpool blowing the title two years ago and failing to qualify for the Champions League this season, Brendan Rodgers simply has to win a trophy this year. With the transfer window now closed and the season well underway, the pressure on so many managers is about to go up a notch.