England boss Roy Hodgson has expressed his concern for striker Wayne Rooney following the amount of responsibility the player has taken on, Sky
Rooney was made captain of his country following the international retirement of Steven Gerrard and also given the armband from new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal at the start of the season.
It has been a tough time for England’s talisman in recent months – following both England’s dismal World Cup showing and lacklustre performances since, and United’s slow start to the season – with a lot of pressure being mounted of the player’s shoulders.
This is something of a concern for Hodgson who says he will monitor Rooney’s situation carefully despite the 29-year-old currently coping well with it all.
Speaking ahead of England’s clash with Slovenia – Rooney will earn his 100th cap for his country if he leads the team out at Wembley this week – Hodgson said: “I think Wayne is in a very good place at the moment, and he has been a very good player over the past couple of years.
“Since he has been made captain, I think he has taken an even further step, both at Manchester United and with us.
“The big question is, of course, as one of the few seniors left in the team, absolutely guaranteed if you like a place in the team, the same at Manchester United, I worry the sense of responsibility is going to weigh him down.
“We do all we can, myself and the coaching staff, to make sure that will not happen with us.”
As well as joining his county’s centurion list, Rooney is aiming to become England all-time top goal scorer having moved up to fourth in the charts.
He currently has 43 goals from his 99 appearances and needs just six more to equal Sir Bobby Charlton’s haul of 49.
One more will take him level with Jimmy Graves while five more puts him joint second with Gary Lineker.
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