Wayne will it end?

> Rooney tired of de­bate over his best po­si­tion

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

WAYNE ROONEY has promised to ac­cept what­ever role Eng­land man­ager Gareth South­gate wants him to play af­ter ad­mit­ting he is tired of the de­bate about his best po­si­tion. Rooney has spent the best days of his glit­ter­ing ca­reer as a striker, but he was de­ployed in mid­field by then Eng­land boss Roy Hodg­son at Euro 2016 af­ter fin­ish­ing last sea­son with Manch­ester United in the same po­si­tion. Jose Mour­inho’s ar­rival at United to re­place Louis van Gaal has seen Rooney shifted back to a more at­tack­ing berth.

How­ever, the Eng­land cap­tain of­ten po­si­tioned him­self in a deep-ly­ing role in last month’s World Cup qual­i­fier against Slo­vakia.

That was the only match for Eng­land man­ager Sam Al­lardyce be­fore his shock de­par­ture last week and, with in­terim boss South­gate pre­par­ing to name his side for Satur­day’s qual­i­fier against Malta, Rooney has been quizzed about his pre­ferred role once again.

“I don’t know, it’s a ques­tion for Gareth,” a vis­i­bly an­noyed Rooney told re­porters yes­ter­day.

“The ques­tion of where I’m go­ing to play... it’s get­ting a bit tired the ques­tion of whether I’m go­ing to play as a striker, in mid­field or as a No. 10.

“I’ve an­swered that ques­tion many times and it’s the same an­swer: I’ll play wher­ever the man­ager wants me to play.

“I don’t pick my­self, I haven’t picked my­self ever and I will play to in­struc­tions.

“I’m sure the in­struc­tions from Gareth, whether it’s to play or not to play, are in­struc­tions I will carry out to the best of my abil­ity.”

Rooney’s clear ir­ri­ta­tion at the con­stant ques­tions com­pounds a dif­fi­cult time for the 30-year-old at club level.

Named on the bench for United’s last three matches, he ar­rives on Eng­land duty in the un­usual po­si­tion of look­ing for game time.

“Of course you want to play as a foot­baller player but it is my job, I love foot­ball and I love be­ing in­volved with the team,” he said.

“Ob­vi­ously I’m not start­ing at the mo­ment at Manch­ester United but I have to work hard to try to get back in the team and the start­ing line-up, which I’m do­ing, and when I get my chance I have to take it.

“But again I’m fully sup­port­ive of the team and the play­ers, the man­ager and Manch­ester United. Of course I want to be in­volved but the most im­por­tant thing is that we win.”

Rooney’s de­sire for team suc­cess is just the same at in­ter­na­tional level, where South­gate will be lean­ing on him to lead dur­ing this un­sta­ble pe­riod.

Un­der­stand­ably pleased to have been kept on as cap­tain by his for­mer in­ter­na­tional team­mate, Rooney hopes to re­pay the man­ager with strong per­for­mances against Malta and Slove­nia over the next week.

“In terms of start­ing again, I’m not sure. We need to build on the three points we got in the last game.

“We have to con­cen­trate on the foot­ball, which I’m sure we will have no prob­lem do­ing and the other side of it is not our is­sue or any­thing for us to be con­cerned about.” – AFP

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