20/05/2010 08:00, Report by Nick Coppack
Player review: Rooney
2009/10 will be remembered as the season Wayne Rooney’s career went stratospheric.
Story of the season:
Deployed in an advanced, central role (often on his own), Rooney’s focus for 09/10 shifted squarely towards finding the net. But any doubts over his ability to adapt to a role that asked him to curb his natural desire to chase the ball all over the pitch were erased as soon as the new season kicked off. He netted six goals in United’s first six league games, including strikes against Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City. But this wasn’t the streaky striker we’d seen before, a player who went on incredible scoring runs only to hit an extended dry patch. Rooney maintained his phenomenal record across the season, with scant regard for the opposition’s pedigree. Only an ankle injury picked up in the final game of March curbed his scoring… and impacted hugely on the Reds' trophy ambitions.
Finest moment: Always inspiring, Rooney’s talismanic qualities were perhaps most evident in January when Hull City came to Old Trafford. At a time when the media were heaping pressure on the Reds after defeats in cup competitions to Leeds United and Manchester City, Rooney ensured United’s league ambitions wouldn’t be dealt a similar blow by single-handedly destroying Hull with his first four-goal