Wayne Rooney has been working hard in training ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Arsenal on Saturday despite looming questions surrounding his captaincy issues.
The 31-year-old has been embroiled in a recent tabloid saga after pictures of the striker looking overwhelmingly drunk at a wedding emerged following England’s 3-0 win over Scotland.
It was confirmed earlier this week that Rooney, having recovered from a ‘minor knock’, would start on the bench against Arsenal on Saturday.
And despite the press-fuelled tornado currently surrounding him, the Englishman was in good spirits at Carrington earlier today.
I’ve always thought that Rooney has led an unthinkable life.
Since the age of 16, the Englishman has lived under the country’s spotlight – every performance, every word, every off-pitch exchange monitored under an unyielding, scrutinising lens. No matter where he is on earth, a camera is there, ready to snap a photo in exchange for a juicy headline. He could literally go to the moon and be met with a horde of paparazzi.
It reminds me of that episode of Black Mirror where a girl wakes up with a case of complete memory loss, heads outside for some fresh air, only to be chased by machete-wielding lunatics as bystanders eagerly follow the action, silently snapping photographs. This is us, and this is what we’ve done to Rooney – the boy from Croxeth who just wanted to play football.
And yet, the striker seems to deal with this perennial surveillance with relative ease. Nothing appears to faze him. This is his life and he gets on with it in an admirably professional manner.