Wayne Rooney. Evertonian. All-time Manchester United and England top goal scorer. These are the things that one usually associates with the 31-year-old Everton player’s career.
But in light of his recent drink-driving charges (and scandalous liaison with 29-year-old single mum, Laura Simpson), you have to wonder if the famed Britney Spears hit, Oops!… I Did It Again has a special place in Rooney’s heart. Considering how it perfectly sums up both his current footballing and personal predicament.
The Prodigal (Footballing) Son Returns
At the start of August, Rooney was not in a good place. The prodigal footballer returned to his boyhood club Everton; after spending thirteen seasons with United.
Despite being the all-time top goal scorer for club and country, the five-time Premier League title winner was struggling to break into the United and England’s first team. Cumbersome on the pitch, his patchy fitness and form saw a return of just eight goals from 39 appearances for United in all competitions.
It was no surprise then that many were already writing Rooney off in August. However, Rooney isn’t one to shirk from a challenge.
Having experience a similar slump in 2010 at United, Rooney recovered the following season; equalling his best season goal tally of 34 strikes.
Though the Premier League is only three games old, the Everton striker already has two goals to his name. His second goal, which came against Manchester City, was his 200th league goal of his career.
— Everton (@Everton) August 21, 2017
Such is Rooney’s rejuvenated form that his team mates Michael Keane and Phil Jagielka, alongside Leicester legend Gary Lineker, have been championing for his return to the Gareth Southgate’s England squad ahead of the international break. So, you can imagine the shock when England’s most capped outfield player decided to retire after being called up by Southgate.
53 goals. 119 games. Forever a #ThreeLions legend.
— England (@England) August 23, 2017
Having since spoken with Rooney, his ex-United manager Jose Mourinho revealed that his former player came to the decision “for Everton, for his family”.
What a Difference a Day Makes
While Rooney might have been walking on sunshine before the international break, there is little or no reason for him to be cheery as the break draws to a close.
The Everton striker was arrested and charged for drunk-driving after a night out drinking with some ex-United players in Wilmslow, Cheshire last Friday, 1 September. He is currently out on bail and is scheduled to be in court on 18 September – the day after Everton take on United.
What was shocking about the whole affair was that a drunk Rooney was found in the company of 29-year-old property sale manager and single mum, Laura Simpson. His pregnant wife Coleen and his three sons were away on vacation at the time.
Although Simpson has since said that she and Rooney shared just “a kiss and cuddle”, she didn’t put anyone’s heart at ease. Especially when she later admits that they “would have ended up s******g no doubt”.
Oops!… I Did It Again
Needless to say, this isn’t Rooney’s first brush with infidelity.
In 2010, Rooney was caught cheating with escort turned reality tv star Jenny Thompson before public allegations of a threesome with Thompson and her escort friend Helen Wood surfaced.
Needless to say, he suffered a tremendous dip in form with United, scoring only sixteen goals.
Of course, this is on top of the well-known fact that Rooney cheated on his then childhood sweetheart and now wife Coleen with prostitutes back in 2002. Apparently, the ex-United captain was a client of a 48-year-old rubber catsuit-clad grandmother notoriously known as the “Auld Slapper”.
Despite all his transgressions, Coleen has been quick to forgive Rooney time and time again. But apparently, not this time.
Feeling embarrassed once more by Rooney’s behaviour, she have since moved back home with her parents with her three sons, while Rooney is alone in the family home.
Tomorrow Never Knows
With Everton training resuming on Wednesday, Rooney decided to get on top of the situation by holding face-to-face talks with manager Ronald Koeman on Tuesday to clear the air.
— Everton (@Everton) September 7, 2017
The Dutch disciplinarian made his disappointment clear to the Rooney that such behaviour is not befitting of a senior squad member and role model and he will be transfer listed if it happened again. It was also initially reported in the UK that Rooney might face a fine of two weeks wages, but the club will take no action until his day in court.
But is the damage already done?
Amidst fears of being dropped for the upcoming league match against Tottenham, Arsenal legend Ian Wright said that Rooney should be picked for the team this Saturday: “I would play him. I can’t see what leaving him out of the team does.”
It is indisputable that Rooney is a vital cog in the Everton first team. But despite being a 200 Premier League goal machine (scoring 156 with his right foot, 23 with his left and only 21 with his head), it is clear that Rooney still hasn’t learnt to use his head under pressure.
And with his head distracted once more (what with his domestic tussle and the world’s scrutiny on him), only time will tell if he will “do it again” and relapse back to last season dreadful form.
It has happened before in 2010. But at least this time, Rooney will be consoled by his favourite Britney song and know exactly where he went wrong.