Wayne Rooney has been sharply criticised after a club medic confirmed that the striker is older now than when first signed by Manchester UTD. The news follows photographs that appeared online, appearing to show a 19 year old Rooney looking noticeably younger.
“I’m disappointed in Wayne,” club ambassador Bobby Charlton told Soccer on Sunday. “You buy a 19 year old in good faith, turn your back for a few years and suddenly you’ve a player in their 30s. The lad should have come clean, instead of going unbald 3 or 4 times to cover his tracks. Nobody likes to see unbalding used as a smokescreen.”
“It’s the kids today,” added Charlton. “They age willy-nilly. When George Best was 24, he was only 22. But today, a 24 year old is probably 24. And they’ll swan into the dressing room 25 the following year like nothing’s happened, wearing headphones, sending Twittergrams on their cordless telephones.”
“In my day,” said Charlton, “if a lad came back for pre-season a year older, Denis Law and Nobby Stiles would beat them unconscious in the shower with lead pipes. Of course, you’d never get away with that kind of thing now. Pipes are mostly copper these days.”
Former club captain Bryan Robson believes that Rooney needs support — not criticism.
“Look, there’s no denying the lad’s piled on a few years lately,” he told Soccer on Sunday. “I went through it meself in me late 30s. I hit rock bottom when I woke up one day and was 40 years old. Luckily I had good friends and family around me, and they sat me down and said, ‘Bryan, what you doin’ man?'”
“That’s what Wayne needs,” added Robson. “Someone needs to sit the lad down, put an arm around him and say, ‘Wayne, you’re 30. Sort yourself out, or in 5 years you could be 35.'”