Hodgson sees value in ace Rooney
Roy Hodgson saw Fulham become the latest to be dismantled by Wayne
Rooney and said it is no surprise Real Madrid say he’s worth
Real president Florentino Perez is “obsessed” with Rooney
according to the club’s former president Ramon Calderon, despite
the fact neither Manchester United nor their star man have given
any indication a transfer is possible.
And after taking his tally for the season to 32 with the
first two goals in a 3-0 win over the Cottagers at Old Trafford
that took United back to the Premier League summit, Hodgson could
only join the chorus of praise.
“Wayne Rooney is proving he is among the best in the world
every week,” said Hodgson.
“He is scoring lots of goals in a tough league like ours. He
is starring for England and is starring in the Champions League.
“Anyone doing that is a player who will be talked about and
someone everyone else is going to be coveting. It is no surprise
people are coveting Wayne Rooney.
“It is pointless for me to say Wayne Rooney is an excellent
player because you could get that from the man in the pub.
“I just know we don’t have that kind of money.”
At the moment, Rooney is driving United towards an
unprecedented fourth successive title.
After a goalless first half, the former Everton star took
just 29 seconds to break the deadlock, converting Nani’s return
pass in clinical fashion.
With Brede Hangeland forced off with a chest injury suffered
in a first half collision with Antonio Valencia, the hosts then
spurned a succession of chances, and survived a scare when Bobby
Zamora found himself clean through, before Rooney settled frayed
nerves when he tucked home Dimitar Berbatov’s cutback.
Berbatov rounded off victory near the end, although all the
focus was on Rooney, who is now just 10 behind Cristiano Ronaldo’s
staggering total from two years ago that helped crown him world
player of the year.
Not that Rooney is the type to welcome any comparisons.
“If I am being honest, getting to 42 goals wouldn’t mean a
lot to me,” he said. “It is not something I have looked at.
“Obviously it is nice to score goals. I want to score goals
in every game and what Cristiano Ronaldo achieved was unbelievable.
“But I am a different player and a different person. I am not
comparing myself to Cristiano.”
United are now two points ahead of Chelsea – who have a game
in hand – and Arsenal, with eight games remaining, starting with
next week’s eagerly-anticipated visit of Liverpool, and including
the visit of Carlo Ancelotti’s men on April 3.
But Sir Alex Ferguson is not expecting anything to be decided
“At the moment it is looking like the tightest Premier League
we have had,” said the United chief.
“It is very tight. We only have eight games left. Chelsea
have nine. We are all involved in Europe. Chelsea also have the FA
“I suppose the simple way for us and Chelsea to look at it is
just to win all our games. But life is never that simple.”
Apparently, though, it is exactly that simple for Berbatov,
who endured a frustrating afternoon in front of goal prior to his
own effort, even though he was picked out as one of United’s star
men by Hodgson.
“There can only be one winner and I think it is going to be
us,” said the £30.75million Bulgarian.
“Arsenal and Chelsea are great teams and we have difficult
games ahead of us but the good thing is we play at home at Old
Trafford against Chelsea and that will be an advantage for us.
“I am optimistic that in the end we will be champions.”