Rooney used to the hype

Wayne Rooney admits he ignored the summer scrutiny over his future and just wanted to let his "football do the talking".

Last Updated: 10/10/13 at 00:22 Post Comment   

Rooney: Ignored the speculation over his future

Rooney: Ignored the speculation over his future

Now recovered from the head wound that prevented him from featuring in last month's qualifiers, Rooney is back on England duty in time to help the final push for World Cup qualification.

It means Friday's Wembley showdown with Montenegro will be the first time he has featured for his country since the end of a transfer window in which most expected him to switch clubs.

Barely a day went by without some comment over Chelsea's interest in him, or the possibility of Rooney moving to Arsenal or Paris St Germain.

In the end, the 27-year-old stayed where he was, triggering another bout of discussion.

It has always been this way for Rooney, though, from the moment he became the second youngest player in Everton history when he made his debut against Tottenham as a 16-year-old in August 2002.

"I have been used to it for years," he told BBC Radio Five Live.

"I don't really take much notice of it. I don't care what anyone says. What people who don't know me say is not important to me.

"Sometimes it is difficult because I have a family as well but mainly I just get on with it and try to let my football do the talking."

Nevertheless, Rooney has shown a remarkable capacity for being able to concentrate solely on football at a time when interest over his future was reaching epidemic levels.

"I want to keep my head down," he said.

"I don't want to talk about anything. I have worked hard. I have got myself back playing.

"That was the most important thing. I am delighted to be back. That is all I have to say."

It must be hard for Rooney, though, when so much debate has been attached to his career.

Montenegro's arrival for instance recalls memories of his dismissal in Podgorica for kicking Miodrag Dzudovic in October 2011, even though Rooney has been back to the same venue since, scoring during a 1-1 draw in the current qualifying campaign.

"It doesn't remind me of that at all," he said.

"That has gone for me now. I said at the time it was a mistake.

"We went back there in the qualifiers last season and I scored.

"I have nothing to think about in that sense anymore.

"I have to move on and look forward. It is more thinking about the game coming up."

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had a particular gripe about the demands placed on Rooney at international level.

Ferguson once famously complained the Football Association "couldn't wait" to push Rooney forward for a round of interviews.

In last week's US TV interview, Ferguson repeated his assertion that Rooney was England's "big white hope".

It is a description the striker recoils from, insisting there are others who shoulder equal responsibility.

However, with seven goals in eight games since Euro 2012 - propelling him onto 36 for his country, just 13 short of Sir Bobby Charlton's all-time record - and five in his last six appearances for Manchester United - it is no wonder Rooney is the man most supporters are pinning their hopes on.

"I am doing well," he said.

"I am scoring goals and enjoying my football. Playing for England is something I love doing.

"I have had a slightly different role in the last few games, when we have played one man higher up and I am enjoying it.

"There are more things I feel I can do in my game and I am working hard to achieve that."


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