Wayne Rooney treated Manchester United fans to an all-round excellent performance during their side’s 4-0 win over Feyenoord on Thursday night in the Europa League.
The captain, returning to the starting XI after being benched over the weekend, was an effervescent force in the No.10 role, claiming a goal and an assist.
A quick glance at the 31-year-old’s stats shed light on what was a domineering display against the Dutch side.
Rooney's game by numbers vs Feyenoord:
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) November 24, 2016
Most Man United fans – myself included – have more or less completely written Rooney off. Above anything, the Englishman comes across as too slow, too physically sapped after 15 years of playing at the highest level, bereft of the life-force that underpinned his golden days.
With this in mind, his performance against Feyenoord felt incongruous. Months – perhaps even years – of sluggish, energy-sapping displays and then a display like that – packed with ferociousness and purpose.
Perhaps with tabloid noise surrounding his drunken antics still ringing in his head Rooney felt as if he had a point to prove. This was a throwback of sorts. A throwback to the days of angry Rooney, pugnacious in his demeanour, furiously charging across the pitch, refusing to give the opposition a break.
United fans will hope that such a performance was not just an isolated incident, but perhaps the start of an unlikely resurgence.