Date: 4th September 2011 at 9:41am
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Last year will definitely go down as Wayne Rooney’s annus horribilis.

Issues both on and off field impacted negatively on his performance and for a while it seemed like he was on his way out of Old Trafford but in this game there are no constants and things change all the time.

Rooney’s began to improve and by the end of last season his earlier problems were a distant memory such was his form. Thankfully he has carried it on into this season and is inspiring United and the young players around him to victory with goals as well as stellar displays.

It is because of this that his impact has been likened, by Sir Bobby Charlton no less, to that of the great Eric Cantona,

“I think he has responded to all the new young players around him.

“When the David Beckham, Gary Neville, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes era began they had Eric Cantona to look up to. They learned from him.

“We have a similar sort of young group coming through now and I think Wayne has responded to the new responsibility in the same way Eric did.

“What Cantona did for that group in 1995 I think Wayne can do for the current new generation. He has blossomed as a result of having these younger lads around him.

“It is a two-fold thing just as the Class of ’92 responded to Eric Cantona, so Eric responded and his game got even better. Wayne is doing the same now.

“Both parties can benefit from it. The young players will learn from Wayne and he’ll get something from them. He’s happy and seems to be enjoying and thriving on his new responsibilities.

“I can always remember our youth coaches going on about this young kid at Everton years ago. When your staff goes on about someone like that you never forget it.

“I was just glad when we got him. I wasn’t worried last season I am just glad he is playing for us and nobody else.”


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