Mour­inho left to pick up pieces from Rooney ho­tel in­ci­dent

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

It has been another fraught, head­line-grab­bing spell away with Eng­land’s national team for Wayne Rooney.

Once again, Manch­ester United man­ager Jose Mour­inho must pick up the pieces.

Rooney is back un­der United’s con­trol af­ter hav­ing been forced to apol­o­gize for some late-night rev­elry while on Eng­land duty, when he was pic­tured - in his Eng­land train­ing gear - look­ing bleary-eyed at a wed­ding reception at the team ho­tel on Satur­day.

Rooney was crit­i­cised by the English Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, Martin Glenn, for not set­ting the “right tone” as Eng­land cap­tain, and the striker’s con­duct has sparked a fresh wave of neg­a­tive pub­lic­ity to­ward a player who has shown er­ratic be­hav­ior on and off the field ear­lier in his ca­reer.

Mour­inho said Rooney has been hurt by the neg­a­tiv­ity to­ward him.

“Even if you have or if you build a kind of wall around you to try to feel pro­tected from what peo­ple write about you or think about you, the com­ments peo­ple make about you, the wall has al­ways points of fragility,” Mour­inho said. “It has al­ways some lit­tle holes.

“And we are not still, we are flesh and blood. So I think it has an ef­fect.”

Mour­inho must be start­ing to dread Rooney go­ing away with the national team. Two months ago, the United man­ager said Rooney came back from Eng­land duty a dif­fer­ent per­son than when he left af­ter fierce me­dia crit­i­cism that he re­ceived af­ter his performance in a World Cup qual­i­fy­ing match against Slo­vakia.

“Hon­estly, I think there was a Wayne be­fore the Slo­vakia-Eng­land and a Wayne af­ter Slo­vaki­aEng­land,” Mour­inho said at the time.

Now, Mour­inho faces another fight to get Rooney men­tally right, at a time when the striker had got his place back in both United’s and Eng­land’s team af­ter a spell of poor form.

“Some­times (play­ers) come back stronger than when they left us be­cause some­thing pos­i­tive hap­pens there - good per­for­mances, good re­sults,” Mour­inho said. “Other times, in­juries, some­times big in­juries. Other times frus­tra­tions be­cause they didn’t play, be­cause the re­sult was bad.

“In this case we know what didn’t go well, but the national team is a dif­fer­ent chap­ter and a chap­ter that is closed now un­til March.”

Mour­inho sug­gested that the Eng­land man­age­ment take bet­ter care of Rooney next time he is away with the national team. There were re­ports in the Bri­tish me­dia that Mour­inho felt let down by the FA for al­low­ing Rooney to stay up late and drink al­co­hol.

“I learned since I was a kid, if some­one lends me some­thing, I have to take care even bet­ter than if it was mine,” Mour­inho said. “You know, your friend lent you a pen­cil, you have to take care of the pen­cil bet­ter than if it was your pen­cil.

“So I think when one day if I be­come a national-team man­ager, I will try - try, I am not say­ing that I will be suc­cess­ful on that - ... to build some­thing to pro­tect what is not yours.”

Mour­inho also said he feels Rooney has been un­fairly sin­gled out for crit­i­cism.

“If you go one by one to see where th­ese 23 (Eng­land) play­ers were,” the Por­tuguese coach added, “some of them were in worse places than the ho­tel bar.”

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