Former England international Wayne Rooney began another chapter of his remarkable footballing career when he led his new championship team Derby County to a battling 2-1 win over Barnsley at the Pride Park Stadium on Thursday night.
It was a near-perfect debut the 34-year-old Rooney could hope for, having set up the opener with an inch-perfect freekick for teammate Jack Marriott(45') to stab home and he(Rooney) was instrumental in the buildup to the winning goal having found, with his cross-field pass, another teammate Andre Wisdom at the by-line who in turn found Martyn Waghorn(57') for the winner. A goal of his own would have made it a perfect debut for Rooney.
Wayne Rooney was playing his 1st competitive game since he departed the Major League Soccer at the end of the 2019 season two(2) months ago(October) and there was a concern from Manager Phillip Cocu and some fans and pundits whether Rooney was ready. Well, the former Manchester United(EPL) and DC United(MLS) answered his critics with not-the-vintage Rooney performance but a mature and majestic display.
Playing in the centre of the midfield as a player-coach and captain of his side, Rooney made 3 quality deliveries into the opposition box, one of which resulted in the game's opener. He(Rooney) made a handful of clean tackles, 1 shot at goal and 1 assist, a decent performance from a 34-year-old player if you ask me.
With the win, Derby County has recorded a back-to-back win for the 1st time this season, having followed up on Monday's 2-1 win over Charlton Athletic. The team still remain in the bottom half of the Sky Bet Championship Table on 17th position with 33 points from 26 games played. See the full table.
Rolling back the years on Rooney's numbers and contribution wherever he played. As a young Everton player between 2001-2004, Rooney played over 60 games(67) and scored more than a dozen(15 goals) during that time. It doesn't include the 10 goals he scored in 31 league appearances during his return to Everton in 2017/18 season.
It was during Rooney's Manchester United playing time that he became a household name, scoring 183 goals in 393 appearances for United, quite some numbers right there. Rooney's 2 seasons with DC United was also impressive, having scored 23 goals in 48 appearances.
Age might not be on Wayne Rooney's side any more, however, Derby County has acquired into their ranks a leader, a serial winner and with all hands on deck, Rooney's presence in the team will definitely motivate the young lads in the team to great height and invariably benefit Derby County on the long run.
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