Rooney heads for England exit
WAYNE ROONEY took another step towards the England exit yesterday by missing manager Gareth Southgate’s presentation to the squad. The Manchester United striker — recovering from a knee injury — did not attend Southgate’s first England briefing as permanent manager at St George’s Park. The FA and United insisted Rooney required rehabilitation back in the North West but his absence felt significant so soon after he was told he is no longer the full-time captain. All England stars picked in recent squads were invited to listen to their new boss’s
plans for his four-year tenure. Of those not in contention to face Germany and Lithuania, only Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland turned up. England’s players seemed enthused by the presentation and James Ward-Prowse revealed Southgate’s ambitious goal is to conquer world football. ‘It was a very powerful message,’ the Southampton midfielder said. ‘It is also one the Under 21s received (from him). He highlighted the highs and lows of a career and the ambitions that he sees for us. We want to establish ourselves as a top team in the world. He is a very proud and passionate Englishman who wants us to do well. I couldn’t think of anyone better for the role.’ Germany No 1 Manuel Neuer has pulled out of tomorrow’s friendly against England in Dortmund because of a calf injury. Uncapped Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Kevin Trapp has been called up to replace him in the squad.
End game: Rooney skipped Southgate’s briefing