England manager Roy Hodgson says there is “no guarantee” Wayne Rooney will be an automatic choice for Euro 2016.
Rooney became England’s record goalscorer when he netted his 50th goal in the qualifying win over Switzerland and the striker will be presented with a golden boot by Sir Bobby Charlton before the home clash with Estonia.
But the landmark comes during a period in which Rooney’s form has been poor. The Manchester United striker broke a 1000-minute Premier League goal drought but the skipper looked off the pace again during the Champions League win over Wolfsburg in midweek.
With Hodgson able to select from the best group of strikers he has had at his disposal, the manager was asked if he might ever consider dropping Rooney should his form fail to improve.
“At the moment, that day has not arrived and, with any luck, it won’t arrive because he will continue to play well and he will continue to merit his place and we will still talk as warmly about him after the tournament in June as we are now – but there is no guarantee,” Hodgson said.
“I have been in football a long time and Wayne Rooney has been in football a long time. He would regard me as someone who is very false if I ever said to him: ‘Your place is guaranteed.’ He would not expect it and I would be very upset anyway if anyone asked me to give them a guarantee of a place. No one else has ever done it and I would take umbrage if that day ever arrived.”
With the strikers in his current squad, plus Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge, Hodgson admits the “choice is enormously different” from when he became England manager prior to Euro 2012.
He said: “There seems to be so many more players now knocking on the door than were knocking on the door four years ago so that’s got to be very positive.”