Diminished Wayne Rooney still able to serve up flashes of his past

05 March 2020 10:01
The former England striker is a throwback to the ITV Digital age but can still caress a football like few have in this countryGive me the ball, he says. He doesn’t need to say the words. There’s an opening of the hips, a broadening of the chest, like a bird unfurling its plumage, that makes it clear exactly what is wanted, and who wants it. There’s a little glance over the shoulder to make sure he’s in as much space as he thinks he is. Now the eyes widen, the arms spread. Give me the ball, he says again with his body. And Max Lowe gives him the ball.Then again, as anyone who has had to sit through one of his interviews over the years will tell you, Wayne Rooney always spoke the language of football better than he spoke the language of language. There’s a grammar to his shape, the little first-touch-and-look-up that you would still recognise in silhouette. Partly it’s the indelible imprint of all those years, all those games we’ve seen him play, all the times we’ve seen him control the ball on the outside of his foot and take a little look up, as he does here. The pass travels all of three yards, a simple lay-off under zero pressure that you or I could have completed. Somehow, Rooney still manages to make it look like pure velvet. Related: Odion Ighalo ensures Rooney's unhappy reunion with Manchester United Continue readingreadfullarticle

Source: TheGuardian