Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton says Wayne Rooney should have retired after the Three Lions’ disastrous Euro 2016 campaign.
Rooney, who has said he will hang up his international boots after the World Cup in Russia in 2018, is still well and truly in the plans of new boss Sam Allardyce.
And Allardyce’s comments after the 1-0 win away in Slovakia on Sunday suggest that the 30-year-old will be a permanent fixture in the side for the next two years.
“Today Wayne played wherever he wanted to,” admitted Allardyce. “He was brilliant and controlled midfield. I can’t stop Wayne playing there.”
But ex-England captain Shilton says Rooney, who played as a deep-lying midfielder against Slovakia, should have ended his international career after the debacle in France.
“I don’t think he’s a striker anymore,” said Shilton. “We are trying to fit him in, but he’s not a midfield player for me. Never will be.”
Speaking to BBC Scotland, Shilton, 66, who is nine England caps ahead of Rooney, said that his belief that the Manchester United frontman should retire was not down to Rooney potentially breaking his record of 125 caps: “He is spraying a few balls around, but I don’t think he’s being very effective.
“I thought he should have retired after the Euros. It’s not because he could break my record. Far from it. If he does and he plays well, fine
Rooney failed to touch the ball once in the Slovakia penalty area but England’s captain and record goalscorer said afterwards he thought he played well and said the debate over his role in the team had been an “overreaction”.
“I played in that role and helped us win the game. Too much is getting made about it,” said Rooney.