Roy Hodgson: Wayne Rooney’s England place is not guaranteed

by Ben Topliss

England manager Roy Hodgson has warned Wayne Rooney that his place in the national side is not guaranteed.

Manchester United striker Rooney recently took over from Sir Bobby Charlton as England’s all-time leading goalscorer.

However, the 29-year-old has been the subject of criticism this term following some poor displays in a Man United shirt.

Hodgson admitted Rooney isn’t necessarily an automatic pick as he prepares for the European Championships next summer.

When asked if he could imagine dropping Rooney, Hodgson said: “At the moment, that day has not arrived and, with any luck, it won’t arrive because he will continue to play well and he will continue to merit his place and we will still talk as warmly about him after the tournament in June as we are now – but there is no guarantee.

“I have been in football a long time and Wayne Rooney has been in football a long time. He would regard me as someone who is very false if I ever said to him: ‘Your place is guaranteed.’ He would not expect it and I would be very upset anyway if anyone asked me to give them a guarantee of a place. No one else has ever done it and I would take umbrage if that day ever arrived.”

Rooney is also coming under increasing scrutiny at United when it comes to his first-team place. For whatever reason, the forward seems to have lost the edge that made him such a superb player in years gone by. Rooney has always bounced back from criticism before but he is running out of time to prove he still has what it takes to perform at the highest level.

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