England happy with Rooney

The England management are more than happy with Wayne Rooney’s contribution at the World Cup so far, insists Gary Neville.

Last Updated: 17/06/14 at 23:08 Post Comment

Gary Neville: Happy with Wayne Rooney's contribution so far

Gary Neville: Happy with Wayne Rooney's contribution so far

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Rooney came under fire from some quarters for a sub-par performance in Saturday's 2-1 defeat against Italy.

The Manchester United striker set up Daniel Sturridge for England’s equaliser, but he missed two good chances in the second half of the defeat in Manaus.

Neville, a former team-mate of Rooney, claims the England hierarchy have had no complaints about the 28-year-old, who he believes is still an important part of the national side.

"My opinion is that Wayne Rooney, after seeing him every day in training, is a very important player," said Neville, now an England coach.

"He is our top goalscorer under (manager) Roy (Hodgson), he is our main assist man and probably but for a yard he would have been man of the match if he had scored that goal (against Italy).

"We came off the pitch the other night and had our coaching debrief with Roy, Ray (Lewington), Dave (Watson) and myself and there was no other suggestion that Wayne Rooney had played pretty well for us in that game, that he had done everything we asked for."

Paul Scholes, a former team-mate of Rooney and Neville, sparked controversy when he suggested the England striker may be past his best.

Neville refused to get drawn into a row with the former United and England midfielder.

"Paul is a great friend of mine but I am coaching Wayne Rooney, I am of the opinion that when you get to a player like Wayne Rooney, you have to cope with everything that is thrown your way," Sky Sports pundit Neville added.

"It wasn't just Paul Scholes talking about Wayne Rooney. The fact of the matter is that it is one man's opinion, it's Paul's opinion and everyone else will have their opinion."

Neville concurred with Hodgson's assertion that the nation has an "obsession" with Rooney who stayed behind for extra shooting practice after England's latest training session.

"You can call it a debate or an obsession (about Rooney)," he added.

"I don't think either are wrong because every time I have been part of a tournament I have seen this with a player, whether it be (Paul) Gascoigne, (Michael) Owen, (David) Beckham or Rooney.

"We love it. The whole country loves creating a drama around one player."

Neville's fellow Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher believes Rooney and Raheem Sterling should swap positions for the Uruguay encounter.

Speaking on Sky Sports World Cup podcast, Carragher suggested Sterling’s pace would prove key down the flank against a Uruguay squad one defender short after Maxi Pereira was sent off late on in their defeat to Costa Rica, while he thinks Rooney will suit a role through the middle.

“I would put him Rooney at number 10 [on Thursday],” he added. “The only reason I wouldn’t have played him there against Italy was because of Pirlo – I think he would have spent most of his time worrying about him rather than getting into the box and causing problems.

“I don’t think Uruguay have that type of player in midfield – they’re more protective of their back four. I think they’ll be more worried about Rooney than he will be of them.

“People say ‘why should Sterling move’ but I think the fact that Pereira got sent off means their back-up full-back will come in.

"I think these wide areas are where we need pace, so I’d put Raheem out wide and move Wayne back central.”

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

O

ne of the conclusions from this list is that Man City should never buy a striker in January - good luck Wilfried Bony....

Savinator
F365's Top Ten Worst January Panic Buys

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

Footer 365

Transfer news: Samuel Eto'o leaves Everton for Sampdoria on free transfer

Samuel Eto'o has completed his free transfer from Everton to Sampdoria on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Transfer news: Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino coy on transfers

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino refuses to discuss transfer activity ahead of semi-final against Sheffield United.

Andrea Pirlo: Pogba not going back to Manchester United

Andrea Pirlo says that Manchester United must 'live with their mistake' of allowing Paul Pogba to leave because he is never coming back.

Mail Box

The Problem With FA Cup Shocks...

...is that the draw for the next round is pretty shocking. Blackburn v Stoke, anybody? We also have mails on LVG and ManUnited, who drew plenty under Fergie...

You're Man Utd, For Crying Out Loud!

Defending a 0-0 draw with Cambridge on the grounds that other teams lost to lower-league opposition is not befitting of Man United. We're inclined to agree with Mailboxers...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company