Rooney hung up on stars’ mobile phone addiction
WAYNE ROONEY has blamed mobile phones and social media for the decline in leadership qualities among footballers in england.
The former Manchester United and england captain, now in charge of Championship club Birmingham, says dressing rooms are a quieter place than during his playing career and believes the increasing use of mobiles holds the key to it.
he said: ‘I speak to players about it all the time — communication. Not just here but with every team, you see a real lack of people talking on the pitch and helping each other.
‘The amount of time you see people on their phones, social media… it’s so easy to have conversations on your phone and through those platforms rather than the most important one, speaking face to face.
‘Certainly on a football pitch that has changed over the years.
‘It’s trying to get the players to speak more. The more you speak the more you help your teammate, the more you wake up your team-mate on the pitch, just by communicating.
‘When you’re a defender you need to be talking to your midfield players, whether you ask them to shuffle left, right, get to the ball. When you’re a midfield player you need to be talking to your attacking players. That’s how football works.
‘As a defender you can see more than a midfielder can see from being at the back, same with your goalkeeper to the back four. Talking helps.’
Rooney is still looking for his first win as Birmingham boss after four games in charge. Tomorrow his team face Sunderland, who have Jobe Bellingham — younger brother of Jude — in their squad.
Like Jude, Jobe progressed through the ranks with Blues but moved to Sunderland for £3million last June — on the same day his brother joined Real Madrid from Borussia Dortmund for a deal that could eventually be worth £113m.
Rooney was a generational talent like Jude and urged youngsters to take inspiration from the 20-year-old.
‘You see a young player go to a different country, be successful in Germany then play for Real Madrid,’ said Rooney.
‘he’s at one of the biggest clubs in the world and to do what he’s doing has to be an inspiration to any young player.’