Wayne Rooney To Be Dropped For England’s Game In Slovenia
Wayne Rooney will be left out of England’s starting line-up for their World Cup Qualifier in Slovenia, according to Sky sources.
Rooney, the team captain and country’s leading goalscorer, will be named on the substitutes’ bench for the game in Ljubljana with interim boss Gareth Southgate likely to name Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson as his two deep-lying central midfielders.
It is understood Southgate was waiting to see if Dier and Henderson made it through a session at Tottenham’s training ground in Enfield on Monday morning before deciding on his team selection.
England beat Malta 2-0 in Southgate’s first game in charge on Saturday but Rooney was booed by some sections of the Wembley crowd and Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith questioned whether the national side’s record goalscorer would keep his place for the Slovenia game.
Southgate, however, felt the criticism of Rooney was unjust and backed the Manchester United man to continue to play with pride for his country.
“The criticism of him is at times unfair,” he said. “He ploughs on and plays with pride and captains his country with pride.
“I look back to John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole. In their time with England they took an enormous amount of criticism and yet when you look at the number of caps they got they were the guys that kept turning out.
“They were the ones that really put themselves on the line when some other players would not put themselves forward in those moments and withdrew from squads when the going got tough.”
Southgate is expected to confirm details of who will captain England on Tuesday night in his pre-match news conference, which can be seen live on Sky Sports News HQ from 6.30pm.