Wayne Rooney’s alcohol-fuelled misdemeanour could not have come at a worse time. The England and Manchester United captain was pictured looking glassy-eyed after attending a wedding party at the England team’s hotel.
Although it was a scheduled day off for the team, Rooney has apologised for his actions.
“Naturally Wayne is sorry that pictures taken with fans have been published today,” a statement on behalf of Rooney (via the Daily Mail) read.
“Although it was a day off for the whole squad and staff, he fully recognises that the images are inappropriate for someone in his position.
“Earlier today Wayne spoke privately to both Gareth Southgate and Dan Ashworth to unreservedly apologise.
“He would like to further extend that apology to any young fans who have seen these pictures.”
With Rooney’s form at an all-time low, his career appears to be winding down to a premature end. This latest scandal could serve to accelerate his downfall. He’s already been bumped from United’s starting lineup by Jose Mourinho on several occasions this season, with United’s last game against Swansea the first league game he’s started since the 3-1 defeat away to Watford as far back as the 18th of September.
England’s use of the high press against Spain has led to some calling for Gareth Southgate to be named as the country’s manager on a permanent basis. Allowing for the usual hyperbole that surrounds any decent performance, England adopting a fast-paced pressing game automatically excludes Rooney from being selected for a starting place.
The Liverpool native has been in steep physical decline over the last few seasons as evidenced by his performance levels and body shape. More worrying is his indecision on the ball and lack of any real desire to win it back when the opposition are in possession.
Allowing himself to be pictured in such a compromising state at a time of such professional uncertainty suggests Rooney hasn’t got the stomach to fight his way back to a pivotal role for either club or country. He’s been in the public eye and at the top of the game since he was 16, maybe the persistent rumours about one last multi-million pound contract in either China or the US doesn’t sound so bad at this stage.
For his respective managers this latest indiscretion could be the reason they have been waiting for to leave him sat on the bench or perhaps even strip him of the captain’s armband.
The question of commitment has been brought sharply into focus for Rooney before. In 2010, when his relationship with Alex Ferguson started to become frosty, he was sent for a week of warm weather training to boost his conditioning mid-season. It was reported at the time that Rooney’s neighbours had complained about noise coming from a boisterous party at his address at a time when he was supposed to be recovering from an ankle injury.
In 2010 there was no doubt that Rooney would bounce back – he was 25 and at the peak of his powers.
Taking everything into account it’s hard to envision the same outcome this time round.
Stephen Vaughan, Pundit Arena
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