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Gareth Southgate: I last spoke to Wayne Rooney in April

11 November, 2018, 16:21 | Author: Delia Walker
  • Rooney and Ronaldo embrace. Image PA Images

Wilson has twice had his career derailed by serious knee injuries but has been in fine form this season, scoring six times in 11 Premier League appearances to win approval from national team boss Gareth Southgate.

Southgate said he had not discussed the clash with the DC United star, adding there was no need for him to be involved in the entire process.

Then, to seemingly appease some sections of English fans, the FA have also stated that Rooney, who previously turned down Southgate's opportunity of a recall, will not start nor be wear the captain's armband. If I had been a player, and had given what those guys had given, I'd have walked away from there feeling my association have really recognised me in a fitting way.

Southgate said that giving Rooney a tribute match had been mooted a year ago and there was a plan to honour him at the June friendly against Nigeria before the World Cup.

"I don't know how the discussions worked but I know that internally I get consulted when there are football decisions to be made", he said.

But England's most-capped player, Peter Shilton, accused the FA of getting it "completely wrong" by offering Rooney - who retired from global football past year - what is effectively a testimonial appearance.

Rooney will meet up with the squad on Monday, but will leave after the United States game and before the Nations League fixture against Croatia, with Southgate dismissive when questioned whether the former captain should be taking a full part in training.

"I think it should be appropriate that people are not heading for the tubes before he comes on and also we have got out of the game what we wanted and not taking someone off too early. So if he plays, of course he'll be the captain".

"We talk to them a lot about that they have the shirt now but it is not their shirt, great players have worn it before them and great players will wear it after them".

As if Wayne Rooney's imminent one-night-only return to the England squad wasn't pointless enough to begin with, The FA have confirmed that the upcoming friendly against the United States of America at Wembley will not be a charitable affair after all. Fabio Capello introduced an ageing Beckham in the latter stages of games to move past Sir Bobby's total appearances and climb towards Shilton's - even once bringing him on with three minutes to spare. However, to not let Rooney lead the team out of the tunnel, sing the anthem and then leave the field as a substitute (at some point) to a Wembley crowd on their feet, is an missed opportunity to honour an English legend.

Everton defender Michael Keane is included in an England squad for the first time in 12 months, with uncapped Brighton centre-back also retaining his place.

"If we're also talking about helping young players develop in the global set-up, then surely celebrating Wayne's career in this way is an example to the next generation of England stars".



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