Former Manchester United and England skipper Bryan Robson predicts that Wayne Rooney will put his World Cup disappointment behind him and increase the 34 goal haul he grabbed for the club last season. Rooney was pipped for the Premier League’s leading goalscorer title by Chelsea’s Didier Drogba after an ankle injury towards the end of the campaign kept him out of action for a number of matches.
Robson told the Manchester Evening News that he has no doubt Rooney will overcome the critics who bagged his performances in South Africa. “I don’t think Wayne will suffer a World Cup hangover at all, I expect to see him come out of the blocks flying when he starts the season. I cannot see him suffering because of the World Cup disappointment because of the character he is.” Captain Marvel insisted “He will go out wanting to prove how good he is. He will be smarting from the criticism in South Africa and also from losing the league to Chelsea so he will want to go and win the title back and prove that the World Cup was just one of those things.”
“I don’t have any concerns whatsoever that he might be on a downer once the campaign begins” he continued “he is not that kind of a person or a player. His reputation hasn’t been damaged. He’ll be a little bit bruised because of it but he will always react positively to something like that. Wayne will be more disappointed than anyone that he didn’t come up to the high expectations at the World Cup and he will be desperate to start playing again. United could be the beneficiaries.”
Rooney was nearly unstoppable for a big part of last season grabbing a career best goal scoring total when he filled the void which was left by the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. Robson is convinced that Rooney will be up to the task of repeating that effort “You have to look at Wayne and say can we look to you to score 34 goals again. He’ll be comfortable with that challenge. That won’t bother him” he said before concluding that “Knowing Wayne, he will want to beat it let alone matching it. Just doing the same again probably won’t be good enough for him.”
The ability of the team to find the net should be the least of Ferguson’s worries if Robson’s expectations of Rooney are met and assistant manager Mike Phelan is correct in his assessment of new signing Javier Hernandez. Phelan firmly believes that the 22 year old Mexico striker could have “a major influence” at Old Trafford admitting that “We were quietly pleased with what we saw of Javier at the World Cup. He is still on a break but we would like to get him on board as quickly as we can, so he will join us in America. Then hopefully he will be a major influence on the team.”
“We did the deal before the World Cup and that has probably helped us a little bit. He has only just begun his career with the national team but already he is a very influential player for Mexico.” Phelan went on to add that “He is young, athletic and as keen as mustard. He will be a good addition. We all hope he hits the ground running and adds to what we think is a good blend of youth and experience in our squad. We just hope it all comes together.”
Will a Rooney-Hernandez combination take the Premier League by storm?