It’s gotten to the stage of the season that a large percentage of teams have either used their wildcards, or traded well to secure the best point scoring players available so it’s getting a little difficult to find many POD’s. You’ve all done too well! I have found one however that quite a few of us had written off, I will put my hands up and say that I had, but that’s why pencils have erasers! Lesson learnt, never write off a champion… He’s been mentioned throughout the week here at FPL Addicts and now he stars as my POD for Gameweek 5.
Rooney (10.5m) – 3.3% (Which has nearly doubled in the past 4 days)
It’s been a rather odd off-season for arguably one of the greatest footballers on the planet. We all saw him preseason where he was carrying a few extra kilos and didn’t quite look like a multi-million dollar footballer. We all remember the ongoing speculation regarding his future prior to the transfer deadline. We saw him during the Swansea game when he set up two goals as a late substitution but didn’t celebrate either one of them with his team mates. This was the end. Surely?
The impeccably timed Chelsea game then came along, Rooney’s main suitor throughout the off-season. Moyes did the right thing for the neutrals and started him. For all of Moyes’ detractors he does know how to motivate a player, even one that he sued for libel several years ago. The end result may have just been a draw but Wayne was easily man of the match. The transfer deadline came and went and he remained at Old Trafford… Looking back I can’t help but think that Chelsea game was the turning point. I’ve been a Rooney watcher ever since his first game for Everton and he does seem to be more of an above the shoulders player than most. His mood can seriously effect his performance but he seems to be playing with a sort of controlled determination so far this season.
Let’s look at his contributions in the competitive games Wayne was available to play in so far this season;
GW1 v Swansea – 8 points including 2 assists and a bonus point, as a substitute (he came on after 68 minutes)
GW2 v Chelsea – Just the 2 points, but was man of the match (4 shots on goal, including all of Man Utd’s 3 on target)
GW3 v Liverpool – Did not play due to that head injury
He then swerved England duty
GW4 v Palace – 9 points with a goal and full BP’s (5 shots on goal)
Champions League GW1 v Leverkusen – 13 (Would have been 16 in fpl) points from 2 goals and an assist (7 shots on goal!)
That’s a decent run of form. The only game he didn’t score big points he was man of the match. I was only at the point of considering him after the game on the weekend against Crystal Palace but his match midweek in the Champions League made my own selection of him a nailed on certainty.
Another stat; he’s score 24 goals in his last 29 EPL starts at Old Trafford.
There’s always been risks with picking Wayne in our teams. Or were they risks with picking the Wayne of old?
Rotation. Sir Alex had an opinion of Rooney towards the end of his tenure which was plain for all to see. Moyes is a different beast however and represents a new opportunity. Importantly, Moyes is historically scared of rotation and has come out and said that he wants him to have a decent run of games. He also said he’s not going to play him in midfield for the time being. It seems the number 10 spot is his to lose. The only competition for his spot, as a like for like replacement, is Kagawa, unless they move someone around and play them out of position like a Wellbeck. Fellaini won’t play there in my opinion.
Consistency. Like I alluded to before, Rooney seems different. Whether that’s maturity or an acceptance of his lot in life. He can’t do anything about moving from Man Utd until January now (if he still wants to move that is) so he’s just getting the job done. Or, now this may sound crazy, he may have matured into the player we always thought he’d become… Maybe I’m reading too much into it but if it’s true then it’s a scary proposition. The up and down performances of Old Rooney may be a thing of the past. The sample data from this season is still very small so I’m doing some serious forecasting here but if can keep this up then he will be a valuable addition to your teams.
I personally reckon Wayne Rooney is a risk worth taking. If you can spare the cash then I say go for it. I’m personally trading him in for Sturridge on the basis that I’m worried about what will happen when Suarez comes back in a week. The other benefit is that his price is pretty close to Suarez’s so if it does go belly up, it’s not going to be a big jump to make the switch if Mr Bitey starts like a house on fire.