All in the mind – has Rooney lost his confidence?
What gives with Wayne Rooney? It seems to be the hot topic of conversation among football pundits at the moment with all manner of reasons for his loss of form being suggested, from playing in too many games to the pressures of fame and being in the media spotlight. My own take on the situation is that Rooney has lost confidence because the weight of expectation since the World Cup fiasco has taken its toll.
Everyone knows that psychology can be a big factor in how a player performs on the pitch and right now there seems to be no better example of this than Wayne Rooney. At the moment he isn’t playing due to an ankle injury and he could be out for up to three weeks. I believe that break could be a chance for him not only to recover physically but also to get his head together mentally.
While he only lost out on being the top goal scorer last season because Didier Drogba scored a hat-trick on the last day of the season, his form since then has slumped and he looks like a shadow of the player he was. He did not look fully fit in the World Cup and has seemed to lack motivation recently. So far he has scored only once and is languishing in 83rd position in the top scorers table. A quick check of the Totesport’s online betting site shows that he is a 10/1 shot for the Golden Boot this time round while the holder Didier Drogba, who has already scored 5 league goals, is the 9/4 favourite.
The Red Devils have failed to win any of their three away games in the Premier League so far and if they are to mount a serious challenge for the title, they could do with the return of the Rooney of old, back to his top form and scoring goals galore. It will be interesting to see how things work out for the player when he starts playing again.
Manchester United have been relatively fortunate in that the net-finding ability of the in-form Berbatov has meant that that they stay only three points behind Chelsea. He is currently the joint top scorer in the league with six goals and the football betting odds on the Bulgarian striker winning the Golden Boot are 13/2.
I suppose in the end it is all about confidence and while Rooney’s seems to have taken a battering, Berbatov has made the most of the opportunity that Sir Alex Ferguson has given him and is now showing United fans the sort of form that makes the £30.75 million that the Reds paid for him seem like money well spent.