Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has hit back at Paul Scholes after the former midfielder suggested that Rooney had already ‘peaked’ and should be dropped from the national team if he continued to not score goals on the international stage.
Paul Scholes had earlier suggested that Wayne Rooney had already peaked as a player and wondered if Hodgson would drop the Manchester United striker if his goal-drought continued at the World Cup.
“I’m not saying Wayne needs to be dropped but if form doesn’t get up to scratch in the warm-ups, or in the first game of the World Cup, it’ll be interesting to see if the England management team has the b**s to make that decision. We have quality forwards in the squad this time.”
However Wayne Rooney has shrugged off Paul Scholes’ criticism and indicated that his former team-mate’s criticism did not bother him much as he has been away from the game for a long period.
“He’s been a team-mate but he’s been away from the first team for a long time.”
Wayne Rooney was also quick to dismiss suggestions that Paul Scholes coached him and pointed out that Scholes had not really been around the first team except towards the latter stages of the season when Ryan Giggs took control of the dressing room as the interim manager.
“I’ve seen a lot of people saying he’s coached me and been around the team but he hasn’t.”
Though Wayne Rooney made it clear that Paul Scholes’ comments meant nothing to him as a player, he was however careful to not engage him in a war of words and indicated that his former team-mate was entitled to his opinions but that he did not agree with them.
“I’m not really going to react. I’m not interested. He’s got his opinions so let’s leave it at that. To be honest I’m not really interested in what anyone else has got to say.”
Wayne Rooney is aware that the only person who matters right now for him is his international coach Roy Hodgson and said that he was only interested in his comments regarding him as a player.
“I’m interested in what Roy Hodgson and the coaching staff here and the people around me say. People have their opinions but I don’t agree with them.”
The Manchester United striker also found a sympathiser in former manager David Moyes, who believes that Rooney is being singled out for the team’s performance in recent years. Moyes admitted that he depended on Wayne Rooney during his tenure at Manchester United and backed his former striker to perform in the big matches.
“He has to play. He has the ability to score, he has the mental strength to handle the games. In those games you look to your big players and Wayne will be a big player for England.”
“But there is an awful lot of pressure being lumped on him, which isn’t right. England haven’t done particularly well in a lot of competitions, so no one should be expecting great things from them.”
“To be a stand-out and make a difference in World Cup games is very hard. For me, Wayne would definitely start. He has the experience of past tournaments.”
However Moyes was quick to remind everyone that Rooney cannot lead England all on his own and will need the other players to step up their game.
“He will also need good service and good players around him. Wayne cannot make it happen all on his own.”
It now remains to be seen what the World Cup has in store for Wayne Rooney who will be hoping for a good showing before returning to Manchester United where he will be asked to prove his merit under new manager Louis Van Gaal.
Cover image courtesy Wayne Rooney’s official Facebook page