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Wayne Rooney should be in the England squad

Friday 26th May 2017
No matter what spin you put on the matter: Wayne Rooney has been an exceptional servant to the England National side and deserves far more respect than he has been offered this week. The briefest of cameos in the Europa League final followed by Gareth Southgate leaving the nation's captain out for the forthcoming games with Scotland and France has no doubt left Rooney with a rather sour taste in his mouth.

Wayne Rooney only turned 31 in October last year; he does seem to have slowed up since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. If anything, this is down to how he has been deployed by the managers who have tried to fill the managerial void at Old Trafford - moving him into midfield was a great chance to let Rooney focus on one of the best aspects of his game: distribution.

When you think of the legendary passers of the ball, you're immediately drawn to the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Rooney's former teammate: Paul Scholes. Spending such a long time with the ginger maestro clearly left an impression on Wayne Rooney and he's shown time after time that he can put a ball on a sixpence when the mood takes him.
It's this exceptional ability that really should've seen Rooney retain his place in the England squad. The named 25-man group have some passing issues that have been evident throughout the season - most of the midfielders have an irksome tendency to sell their teammates short with the simplest of passes.

Some will disagree with such a statement, that much is obvious, but where's the evidence to support the claim that Lallana, Lingard, Livermore and Dier can move the ball with the accuracy and finesse Wayne Rooney does. The truth is, there is no evidence as all four of these central midfielders lack the discipline Rooney has introduced to his game over the last few years.

Wayne Rooney wholly commits to the game in question and is so eager to play that he'd no doubt don a pair of gloves if it meant he could be out on the pitch with the rest of the Three Lions. This level of commitment is becoming progressively rarer in the modern game as players become flippant and overconfident in their own abilities - Dele Alli is perhaps the only English prospect who appears to love his football.

Naturally, Wayne wouldn't necessarily need to be deployed as a midfielder as his current manager, Jose Mourinho, pointed out in the aftermath of Manchester United's Europa League victory on Wednesday night. Mourinho claimed Rooney played a smaller part in the match than he might've because United didn't need to attack Ajax after the hour mark so he clearly believes Rooney remains an attacker.

However, Mourinho's comments were somewhat contradictory given that he had introduced Anthony Martial into the game in place of the unusually ineffective Marcus Rashford. If there's no need to attack, why replace your attacker with another striker?

Obviously, we can't criticise Gareth Southgate's decision to leave Wayne Rooney out until the matches against Scotland and France have been played. If England are victorious then perhaps Southgate's omission of Rooney was justified but if they come up short, he may have no choice but to reconsider for future squads.
Kristian Webb
A Manchester United fan who actually knows where Manchester is; I'm the chief writer for AccumulatorTips, ForzaSwansea and a contributor to WhatCulture's video game section. I'm a professional proofreader, content author and SEO Expert but that doesn't mean there won't be the odd grammatical error!

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