Football needs Bobby Charlton’s record to stay

Wayne Rooney has forever been tipped as one of the greatest strikers England has ever seen. Whilst the record books would certainly suggest that is the case, there’s so much more to this story than just words on a paper. Either way, if the 31-year-old topples Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring tally it will be one of the biggest travesties of recent times.

Now wait a minute. It may sound like a fairly extreme statement to make, but the evidence is all there. Back in the days when Bobby Charlton was running rampant throughout sides up and down the football league, things seemed so much simpler. There was a distinct lack of technology, nobody really gave a shit what they looked like and you could make a gritty tackle without being shown a straight red.

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In fact, just writing that down makes us want to take a time machine right back to those glory days. Sadly, we cannot, and all we have left are the facts in front of us and one of the big ones that has been an ever-present is the greatness of, Bobby Charlton.

The man just knew how to get things done. No matter how big the stage or occasion, there was no game in which Bobby couldn’t create some magic. Back then it genuinely seemed as if players were giving every last ounce of passion and effort they had in their bodies to secure the victory, meanwhile now there’s only really one word that can sum it up entirely – lethargic.

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Wayne Rooney is now England‘s all-time leading goalscorer. Not greatest, just all-time. The reason behind that is because for so many of the strikes Rooney has racked up over the years, they’ve come against some of the poorest international sides known to man. Whilst some may say the same is true of Charlton, at least there was some passion and fight back then.

At the very least it seemed like we were getting the very best out of all 22 men on that pitch as opposed to a bunch of egotistical maniacs. That’s not what football is about and it feels as if that message has been lost in translation over the years.

Charlton led United and England during a period of great success and despite Rooney’s many trophies, he never really made that next step up in terms of putting in great performances when it mattered the most.

Every European Championship, World Cup and Champions League tie of real importance always seems to coincide with Rooney falling short. In terms of scoring against other sides it’s certainly true that you can only beat what’s put in front of you, but how are we as a public supposed to feel about that record breaking moment?

Do we feel joy? Empathy for Bobby? It’s a new era and we can expect many records to fall, but this one just doesn’t sit right. Something feels desperately off and as pitiful as that may sound, it’s the truth.

 

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