Jamie Redknapp: Wayne Rooney has put Gareth Southgate in a difficult position

by Leo Nieboer

Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp believes Wayne Rooney has put caretaker England manager Gareth Southgate in a difficult following widespread exposure of his drunken antics.

The 31-year-old was pictured in a heavily inebriated state after England’s 3-0 win over Scotland, with onlookers describing the England captain as ‘not a pretty sight’ and ‘s***faced’.

It was reported last week that the saga could potentially jeopardise Rooney’s future as England captain.

Redknapp, speaking earlier today, claimed the entire fiasco has put Southgate in a difficult position.

“It’s going to be a tough time for him. And worse, he’s put his manager in a really tricky position,” he said. 

“Everyone is going to be looking at Gareth Southgate, saying ‘what are you going to do about this now?’ Does he leave Rooney – his captain – out of his next squad if he gets the permanent role?

“But Gareth is now in such a difficult position and if he gets the full-time job and doesn’t pick Rooney for the next round of internationals in March, I don’t think Rooney could really complain.

“However, if Southgate did decide to make a statement, leave him out of the squad and then find further down the line we have injuries to forwards and Rooney is bang in form, it could end up being a sticky situation.”

English football’s post-Brexit era can only be described as shambolic. Perhaps even laughable. Since the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union, England have lost to Iceland, a country with a population of 300,000, at a major tournament, sacked Sam Allardyce – their supposed saviour – after just one game, and now this: their captain and biggest name disgraced by the world’s media after a few drinks quickly morphed into a 5am bender. O England My England, How Proud I am Of Thee!

Rooney’s future as England captain essentially boils down to one’s stance over this whole drinking issue: some will say that, as Manchester United and England skipper, the 31-year-old needs to set a better example. I mean, could you imagine the likes of Manuel Neuer or Cristiano Ronaldo doing something like that? If the leader of your international side acts in such a way, what benchmark is being set here?

On the other hand, some will say: ‘He had a few drinks. Relax. It’s not a big deal.’

One can imagine that the FA, already under serious pressure, would be less sympathetic to the latter view.

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