By Adebayo Williams
Wayne Rooney has vowed to fight for his place in the England team following news he had been dropped for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier match against Slovenia on Tuesday. The Three Lions captain has announced that he will not retire after he was given the boot by manager Gareth Southgate.
Rooney had been target of boos at the country’s Wembley Stadium in the victory over Malta. The 30-year-old has been enduring rather disappointing form for both club and country.
“It is something which I have to go through,” said Rooney, who has only scored one goal in 12 appearances for United and England this season. “I am big enough to deal with it.
“I believe I can come back from this. I am 30 years of age. I am not 35 or 36 where you are thinking: ‘Can you get back from it?’ I will keep working and I have said before that I will not stop playing for England and start going to Dubai for a few days in the international break.
“After the summer it would have been easy for me to walk away and say: ‘That’s it, I’ve had enough,’ but that’s not me. I feel I have a lot to offer and I’ve made that clear [to Southgate], certainly until the World Cup in Russia. That’s what I want. I’m not suddenly going to turn round and say: ‘I’m not playing, I’m not going to turn up.’ I will turn up when called upon and be ready.
“Ryan Giggs at 30 wasn’t the same player he was at 18 and he played until he was 40. There’s lots of examples out there you can use – players re-evaluate and work out the best way to move forwards. I’m sure that will happen with me. I am not naive in terms of thinking that I am still a 20-year-old. I understand that. My game is different to that of a 20-year-old, but I also think I have qualities that can help move this team forward.
“I’m not denying it’s a difficult moment but I have to show the right attitude, try to be positive and make sure I am supportive of my team-mates.”
Rooney has also lost his place in Manchester United’s starting eleven following strings of sloppy performances.