Wayne Rooney has revealed he is “tired” of answering questions over his England playing position.
This week interim manager Gareth Southgate confirmed Rooney would retain the captaincy of the national side in the wake of Sam Allardyce’s departure, despite him losing his starting spot at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho.
Rooney was axed by Mourinho for last weekend’s win over Leicester and he has been on the bench ever since – for the games against Zorya and Stoke.
The 30-year-old has struggled to find his form this season and in Allardyce’s sole game in charge – the last-gasp 1-0 World Cup qualifying win in Slovakia – he was heavily criticised and afterwards Allardyce alluded to the United man being able to play where he wanted.
Allardyce told a post-match news conference: “Today Wayne played wherever he wanted to. He was brilliant and controlled midfield. I can’t stop Wayne playing there.”
The departed England boss was referring to Rooney’s deep-lying midfield position which he adopted against Slovakia and there have been suggestions that Rooney could be used there in the games against Malta and Slovenia with England light on central midfield options.
Asked at a news conference whether he was guaranteed to start when Malta visit Wembley on Saturday, Rooney said: “I don’t know, I think that’s a question for Gareth.
“And also, another question for England about where I play – it’s getting a bit tired, the questions about whether I play striker, midfield, number 10.
England captain Wayne Rooney speaks to the press ahead of Gareth Southgate's first game v Malta. pic.twitter.com/4J194zu0NT
— Nick Mashiter (@nickmashiter) October 4, 2016
“I’ve answered that question many times and it’s the same answer. I’ll play where the manager wants me to play.
“I don’t pick myself, I haven’t picked myself ever for England. I’ve played to instructions and I’m sure the instructions Gareth gives me – whether to play or not to play – are instructions which I will try and do to the best of my ability.”
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) October 4, 2016
Speaking about his omission from United’s first XI, Rooney said: “Of course you want to play,” Wayne told reporters at St George’s Park. “As a football player you want to play. It is my job, I love football and I love being involved with the team.
“Obviously I am not starting at the minute with Manchester United and I have to work hard to try to get back in the starting XI, which I am doing, and when I get my chances I have to take them.
“But again I am fully supportive of the team, of the players and of the manager at Manchester United. Of course I want to be involved but the most important thing is that we win.”