Wayne Rooney says he is getting “slaughtered” for Sam Allardyce’s claim that the England captain plays “wherever he wants”.
Allardyce made the comment after his one-and-only game in charge against Slovakia last month.
And while Rooney revealed that Allardyce apologised on the plane home following the 1-0 win, the Manchester United captain feels like he has been hounded for the remarks ever since
“Sam came out and said I play where I want,” said Rooney. “I played exactly to instructions, and what was asked of me.
“I’ll play wherever the manager wants me. I don’t pick myself, I haven’t ever picked myself. I didn’t come in and say: ‘I want to play here or there.’ I played where I was asked to play.
“That was a big misunderstanding and I seemed to get slaughtered for it. I suffered from that. I got battered in many different ways when I felt it was actually a decent performance.”
Debate surrounding Rooney’s role at club and national level has dominated column inches, with the 30-year-old gradually migrating into a midfield position in the past couple of seasons.
Rooney’s form for United has seen him drop to the bench in recent games, and the comments made my Allardyce – and the subsequent criticism from media and fans alike – have clearly had a lasting impact on England’s record goalscorer.
“It was over the top. I played in deep midfield and I thought, being honest, I actually did quite well, especially in the second half [against Slovakia],” Rooney added.
“I helped control the game. I turn up like every other player, ready to play and, if selected, I will play hopefully how the manager wants me to play, and that’s it.
“Everyone else can say what they think, or what they think they know, but me, the manager and the players know what is required to do well.
“I played the role I was asked to play, played to instructions and that was it really. But it has all blown up.”