Wayne Rooney is set for a stunning England recall, but does the DC United forward deserve to play for his country again? The Sunday Supplement panel – including the journalist who first broke the story – discuss.
Rooney, 33, is set to come out of international retirement to make a one-off return to the England team when they play the USA on November 15.
England vs USA
November 15, 2018, 7:00pm
The DC United star, who scored 12 goals to help propel the franchise to the MLS playoffs, will win his 120th cap for his country if he features at Wembley.
However, should Rooney’s England achievements be recognised with a recall, or does it devalue the fixture?
The Sunday Supplement guests, including The Sun’s Mike McGrath, who wrote the initial story, give us their views…
Mike McGrath (football news reporter, The Sun)
The FA always wanted to acknowledge what Rooney has done for England – he has captained them and is England’s record goal scorer.
And the way he left the squad and announced his retirement was quite hasty, he was dropped from Gareth Southgate’s squad and Gareth wanted to bring him back and at that point, Wayne decided to call it a day on the international stage.
So the stars and stripes have aligned for this and this USA international gives him an opportunity to win his 120th cap and it is helped by the fact he has played such an incredible part in DC United’s season. Without him being in that form, then maybe he would not be playing.
It is a reflection of someone who has broken records for England, but at the heart of it was there was no chance to say goodbye properly and that he has scored more goals for England than Bobby Charlton or Gary Lineker. And I do not think his contribution to English football has been forgotten.
Melissa Reddy (senior football correspondent, JOE)
It will feel like a testimonial, but friendlies do not mean much at all. The fact that this has an element of saying goodbye and thank you to Rooney gives this a bit more interest and appeal, otherwise nobody would really be concerned about it.
Perhaps this is a realisation that we should do something more for people who have served the national team so well. And I think Rooney deserves it and you should not lose sight of how well he did at club level and how much he contributed to the national team.
Adam Crafton (football writer, Daily Mail)
I think you have to divide it into two sections. On the one hand, it is for the NSPCC, it is for the Wayne Rooney Foundation and I do not think anybody would argue with that side of it at all. And also a recognition of what Wayne Rooney has achieved.
The issue, though, is this is the game before they play Croatia and Gareth Southgate believes the Nations League is a big thing for England. If England were to win it, it would give the country huge self-belief ahead of Euro 2020.
Southgate only gets so many games in a calendar year to develop his philosophy and bring through these players he is trying to bring through.
So there is a question of how much of this game Rooney will play, because this is valuable time for Southgate and it will be interesting to see in the next few weeks how happy Southgate is about this.
It devalues the experience for Southgate and this young group of players.
But the other thing is one of the reasons why Rooney’s goodbye was not so ceruminous was partly due to his own indiscretions towards the end of it. So you could argue that he himself lost himself that opportunity.
And I just think that after all Southgate achieved this summer, he deserves all the time.
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