What was Rooney thinking?

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It’s hard to fathom what he was thinking. He is out of form, struggling with his club, on the periphery with his country, fighting the fading of the light. And apparently injured.

You would think he would be doing his utmost to defy this. Get fit, work hard, fight back — prove everyone wrong.

Instead, he put himself at the mercy of hotel guests with camera phones. At best, this was ill-judged. Any player knows in this day and age that there will be someone with a phone and Rooney will surely know that as well as anyone.

You can’t take risks. The England captain can’t take risks. Once he poses for a picture, he has to know the risk.

He is already dealing with how well Adam Lallana is playing, the manner in which Dele Alli is emerging. Rooney is no longer first choice. This just gives England another excuse to drop him.

He has been a good professional, a really top player. At 31, he won’t have enjoyed suddenly finding himself on the substitutes’ bench at Manchester United.

But his body is slowing down after 731 games for club and country — and as you get older you have to work harder to stay fit.

As a young athlete, he could bend the rules and still bounce out of bed the next morning ready to train hard and sweat it out.

I liked a night out, so I know the drill. At the start of my career we would have a crate of beer on the bus — to wash down the fish and chips. Now the sports scientists will be all over you, discussing intake and diet.

I understand the argument ‘a player should be able to let his hair down’, but there is a time and place and this was not the time or place.

England should not have played him against Scotland, in my opinion — and wouldn’t have done had Alli been fit.

Rooney knows what’s coming next — the surprise for me is that he isn’t doing more to stop it.

* Sutton won league titles with Blackburn and Celtic, and was capped by England.

Daily Mail

Original source: What was Rooney thinking?

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