Former England coach Roy Hodgson believes Wayne Rooney should have had more support over photographs of him drinking at a wedding reception.
The national team captain was pictured looking drunk with guests at the party in the same hotel where England were staying after their win over Scotland last month.
He was forced to apologise but Hodgson defended the Manchester United forward, pointing to the fact he was joined by team-mate Phil Jagielka and members of Football Association staff.
Hodgson – who resigned after defeat to Iceland ended England’s bid in the summer’s showpiece, told the Times: “In this particular instance there should have been more joint responsibility.
“Wayne understood it was a bad moment in time and, in an ideal world, something he shouldn’t do. But if anyone was caught we would expect all of us to come out and say, ‘Yeah, look, you’re right’.
“I wouldn’t have said it is awful, I would be saying things like: ‘They had the night off, yes we imposed on them the message not to do this but they are human beings. We’d just had a good result. Have you never gone out and had a drink? Have you never let your hair down, have you never done something you shouldn’t do? Is there nothing in your life where you look back and you’re ashamed of it?’.
“I would also have expected all those other guys to say, ‘Hold on, don’t just blame him, I was there too’. I’m not going as far as to blame the FA, I’m just saying I’m disappointed in the group. It doesn’t matter that it was Phil Jagielka with Rooney and not, say, Joe Hart. It was another Premier League player and I’m disappointed in Phil a little.”
Rooney’s form with club and country has come under extensive scrutiny this season, with a lack of goals as he is deployed in various positions in attack and midfield.
Hodgson stuck by Rooney as his captain up to and including Euro 2016 but accepts there are now grounds for Gareth Southgate to doubt the player’s place in the starting line-up.
“The question these days for the coach is: is his role as one of the squad – with his experience, knowledge, the fact he’s a good guy and gets on with everybody – or is his role as one of the XI? That is up to the coach to decide.”
But he added: “I don’t know that you become a bad leader, a bad captain, because you get caught having a drink.”