Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney dismissed Paul Scholes’ criticism on Thursday, saying he is ‘not interested’ in his former team-mate’s comments.
Scholes, who was part of Ryan Giggs coaching staff at the end of the season, wondered in a recent interview whether we have seen the best of Rooney, whether he will ever get back to the player he was two or three years ago and whether the Englandd striker was ‘worn out’, having started his senior career with Everton at the age of 16.
But Rooney has claimed he does not listen to comments from people outside the England camp and argued Scholes has very little to do with him nowadays.
“To be honest, I’m not really interested in what anyone else has got to say,” Rooney said.
“I’m interested in what Roy Hodgson, the coaching staff and the people around me say. People have their opinions but I don’t agree with them.
“He (Scholes) has been a team-mate of mine but he’s also been away from the (United) first team for a long time. I’ve seen a lot of you (journalists) saying he’s coached me and been around the team but he hasn’t.
“I’m not really going to react. I’m not interested. He’s got his opinions so let’s leave it at that.”
Interesting that Rooney claims that Scholes did not know what he was talking about because he had been away from United’s first team for a long time. Scholes retired a year ago and coached Rooney at the end of this past season. That sounds to me like someone who saw a lot of Rooney up close, and recently.
Criticizing Rooney ahead of a major international tournament has become a pastime in the UK, and with Brazil 2014 right around the corner, some pundits have even been wondering if Rooney was worthy of a place in the England starting XI.
ngland manager Roy Hodgson declared last week it is ‘sad’ how his country is ‘Rooney-obsessed’, while the Manchester United striker’s performance was questioned in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Ecuador, despite his goal in the 29th minute.
Hodgson used the 28-year-old on the left wing with new Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert leading the line ahead of Everton’s Ross Barkley, which prompted questions about whether Rooney would be able to produce his best in Brazil in a wide role.
Rest assured that Rooney will be in the England starting XI against Italy in just over a week’s time. Hodgson cannot let a player of Rooney’s quality not start.