Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Rooney committed to England regardless of captaincy

SoccerNews in World Cup 1 Aug 2016

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Wayne Rooney will happily play for England manager Sam Allardyce regardless of whether he retains the captaincy, but admits he may have to consider his international future after World Cup 2018.

Allardyce was appointed as Roy Hodgson’s replacement in July, the latter resigning following a humbling last-16 exit to Iceland at Euro 2016.

The new manager would not offer assurances that Rooney will retain the armband under his stewardship, something the Manchester United skipper insists will not affect his immediate England future.

But the 30-year-old pinpointed the aftermath of the next World Cup as the time when he will seriously consider his international career.

“I’ll carry on until the World Cup in 2018 and then I might have a decision to make,” Rooney said in an interview with The Daily Mail.

“But for the next two years, captain or not captain, I’ll turn up and be available to play if I am wanted.

“I’ve spoken to him. Not at length about how we’re going to play or my role, but he seems very excited about the job and he’ll have his own way of doing it.

“I don’t think it would be fair to expect him to make a decision on the captaincy now. So I’ll wait and see what he thinks. He’ll want to see the group, work with us all and then make his decision.”

Rooney has greater certainty at club level, as new United boss Jose Mourinho wants to restore him to a more natural forward position, rather than the midfield role he assumed under Louis van Gaal.

The 30-year-old is excited to return to the attack and has been attempting to regain his striking instincts during pre-season.

“He wants us to play with a lot of freedom, a lot of rotation in the forward positions, lots of opportunities to score goals — and I think I can do that, score the goals to help us be successful,” continued Rooney.

“Getting that mentality back, from being a midfield player to being a goalscorer again is what I’ve been working on all pre-season.

“I’d known for a long time I could play midfield if I had to, and the way United were playing as a team at the time it was the role I most enjoyed.

“But Jose has come in, he has seen me play in another position for 10 years scoring goals, and that’s what he wants me to do. It’s not as if it’s a new position for me. I wasn’t apprehensive at all. I was excited.

“This is one of the best coaches in the world and, sure, I’ve got to impress him. But I’ve always felt I’ve got to impress every manager and you should be able to play different positions.”

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