English skipper Wayne Rooney does seem to be passing through some difficult times. After the recent incident of booing by his fans in the world cup qualifiers against Malta, Rooney has now been dropped from the English squad for their upcoming World Cup Group F qualifier against Slovenia. Gareth Southgate defending the decision to drop Rooney said that this was done for tactical reasons. He said this in a news conference.
Eric Dier will be replacing Rooney while Jordan Henderson will wear the skipper’s armband.
Southgate elaborating on the current selection said that he and the management have been studying Slovenia and how they play since the middle of last week. The profile of the midfield was in his mind and hence he decided to implement the same in the current team. He further added that Rooney being dropped from the Tuesday’s game doesn’t reflect their displeasure for his performance in his last game against Malta. According to the interim manager, Rooney’s previous performance was praiseworthy.
Wayne Rooney happens to be England’s most capped outfield player. He has under his belt 117 appearances. He is also an all-time top scorer. However, he is going through a lean patch these days. Hence he was kept as a substitute in Manchester United’s squad for the last three games.
Speaking about Rooney’s form in the recent times there is nothing to write home about. Rooney in the 12 matches he played this season has scored just once and put the ball into the goal post only once in the last seven international matches he played.
A big-hearted Rooney showing great understanding pointed out that Southgate has a difficult task to choose from 23 players. He is happy with the fact that he served the national team for 13 long years without any break and given his best for the team. Gracefully accepting his omission from the team Rooney, however, did say that he always wanted to be on the pitch and play for the team and even if he is out of the team he will go all out and support his home team and hope that his team wins. He feels that his exclusion is a chance for other players to show their best.
Southgate further adding on Rooney’s absence said that to avoid Rooney has been a “tough decision” for him.