Veteran English football player Wayne Rooney seems to have got some support from the interim manager of English football team Gareth Southgate. After a recent incident when Rooney was booed by English fans in the football match between England and Malta, Southgate defended Rooney. This 2018 World Cup qualifiers match was eventually won by the English team by 2-0. In the first half of this match which was played at the Wembley stadium, Daniel Sturridge and Dele Alli scored for the English team in the first half. This victory over Malta did seem to be a tough one for the host side. However, the 82,000-strong home crowd at the Wembley thought that it would be a cake walk for the home team. Southgate engaged Rooney in a midfield role. But this veteran forward was unable to put up a good show for which he was booed by the several thousand English fans present in the stadium.
The English interim manager, supporting his stand on Rooney, said that he can’t really figure out why fans booed this veteran player considering the number of games played and goals scored by this player for the English team. Southgate felt that the criticism meted out to Rooney at times is unfair. The English interim manager said this at a post-match briefing to the local media. According to Southgate, Rooney “ploughs on and plays with pride and captains his country with pride”.
Southgate had urged the English fans to be more loyal and be supportive to Rooney who is struggling to regain his earlier form. He added that if Rooney is not well-supported things will be even tougher for him.
Southgate said that recently he had presented this 30 year old veteran player with a cap. This is in recognition of him being the record cap holder for his country. According to Southgate every debate and discussion of late has been focussed on him and pressure on him is enormous. Southgate doesn’t really understand the motive behind booing. According to him, this seems to be the current trend and he feels that it will adversely impact Rooney.
Southgate’s call to keep Rooney in a midfield role seems to be completely opposite the view of the Manchester United Manager who said that that the English skipper will be more useful as a forward.
However, according to English team’s interim manager Rooney’s role in the midfield is attuned to the national team’s setup.