Late last month Manchester United legend Paul Scholes discussed how he felt about Wayne Rooney’s role as the focal point of England’s attack.
While speaking to reporters in Miami following England’s 2-2 draw with Ecuador on Wednesday, Rooney responded to Scholes criticisms of him.
“To be honest, I’m not really interested in what anyone else has got to say. 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 first team for a long time. I’ve seen a lot of you [media] 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.”
Regarding playing in an unfamiliar role on the left side of midfield Rooney told reporters
The manager didn’t have to tell me what to do, “I know how to play that role. I’ve played it many times and I have no problem doing that.”I can play in different positions. I’ve proved that over the years. It is down to the manager. It is not about me it’s about the team. If the manager wants to play me up top, in behind, left, right I’m happy to do that.”
Rooney’s fitness entering the World Cup has been questioned as had his role in the England setup. Liverpool Striker Danny Sturridge is coming off the best season of his career and is almost certain to start as the focal point of the Three Lions attack. This leaves Rooney who prefers playing as a striker, but whose skill set means he could play anywhere on the attacking end of the pitch to be fit in somewhere else.
It is possible Rooney could play behind Sturridge and in front of an attacking midfielder, but in that setup space may be difficult to find. So maybe playing on the left-side of midfield where the Manchester United star featured on Wednesday was more than simply experimental.