Wayne Rooney has revealed his irritation at Sam Allardyce's comments that 'he plays where he wants' following England's 1-0 win over Slovakia last month.
The former England manager told reporters following his maiden and sole victory as England manager that "Wayne played wherever he wanted. He was brilliant and controlled midfield. I can’t stop Wayne playing there."
Rooney, however, believed the comment was unfair on he and his performance, telling reporters ahead of England's upcoming qualifier with Malta:
Sam came out and said I play where I want. I played exactly to instructions, and what was asked of me. I’ll play wherever the manager wants me. I don’t pick myself, I haven’t ever picked myself. I didn’t come in and say: ‘I want to play here or there.’ I played where I was asked to play. That was a big misunderstanding and I seemed to get slaughtered for it. I suffered from that. I got battered in many different ways when I felt it was actually a decent performance.
Daniel Taylor of The Guardian noted how Rooney spoke with a noticeable lack of fondness for Allardyce, with the Manchester United captain agreeing that Big Sam should have given more thought to his public pronouncements. The same might be said of his private ones, but that's neither here nor there.
The 116-cap Rooney admitted that Allardyce did apologise for his remarks on the plane home:
That’s part of being involved at this level. He knew he made a mistake. He said that to me on the plane home. He understood that quite early and unfortunately he doesn’t have the chance to rectify that now.
Rooney was also quizzed on his form at Manchester United, accepting that he deserved to be dropped for recent performances, and that he no longer has the pace of old. It would seem, too, that he's keen on a move to midfield - contrary to what his club manager indicated at the beginning of the season - and Rooney admitted his frustration at not being given the role at United.
I have heard a lot of people talking about transition – well, let me do it. If that is what’s going to happen, let me do that. I feel I am not being given a chance if that is the way I want to go in my career to expand it.
I am not being given that chance to go from there to there [attack to midfield]. It is all right talking about your career, saying you can extend it by doing this and that, but you need to be given the chance to do it.
There will come a time, if I’m not playing, I might have to be a bit more selfish in terms of where I want to play and making that clear.
Of course there is the small matter of his not being a good midfielder, but you can hardly blame the man for trying to find a way to kick-start a career which has shuddered to a halt over the past couple of seasons.