Friday, 24 November, 2017

Lighten up: Allardyce wants England players to have fun

Kristopher Love | 01 September, 2016, 14:11

Wayne Rooney, England's record goal scorer and captain, will retire from global football after the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russian Federation.

New England manager Sam Allardyce confirmed on Monday that Rooney (30) will be kept on as captain for the World Cup qualifying campaign, which begins in Slovakia on Sunday.

"I made my mind up before the Euros, whether we did well or not, that I was going to continue".

On Rooney's left shoulder is his "English and proud" tattoo, adorned with St George cross flag, the kind that are ten-a-penny on England away trips and possibly one of those teenage decisions that Rooney might not make, given his time again. Raheem Sterling has been a lively presence in the start which Manchester City have made to the season, Adam Lallana has been playing constructive football for Liverpool, and Dele Alli - whose form shaded badly just at the wrong time for England last season - will be back. I'd be 34 by the next tournament.

So far, United have managed to do just that, three wins out of three and a high level of confidence among the players going into the first worldwide break of the season, they're going to need to stay sharp and fit, because after the break, its the first big game of the season, the Manchester Derby. "I'm excited by the players involved at the moment and, although there have been questions about my future, I said straight after the Euros that I wanted to still be involved", he added.

Rooney will make an appearance for his team against Slovakia in a World Cup qualifier. "Hopefully I can end my time with England on a high". "All of these factors point towards him being the right choice to lead the team", said the manager. We have to work out how we can go one step further in tournament play.

Rooney will be 32 when Russian Federation 2018 comes around and the forward admits the tournament is likely to be his last.

While he admits his style is not quite in line with the refined, academy honed talents of his new global team-mates, many critics of England's diabolical Euro 2016 campaign feel Antonio's experience of footballing hardship before success is just what the national team needs under Sam Allardyce.

Under new United boss Jose Mourinho this season, he has played behind the striker - which is where Allardyce has told the media Rooney will play for England.

Four managers and 12 years later, however, Rooney accepts there has been a familiar tale of England under-achievement.

He said: 'Joe has been in a hard situation and knowing him like I do he wants to play and so he has gone somewhere where he can do that. I've had nothing to think about since then. That is down to the way he has got them playing.