Rooney defends decision on corners during Euro Cup
London, Aug 31 (IANS) England football team skipper Wayne Rooney has defended his decision to relieve Harry Kane from taking corners during the 2016 Euro Cup in defiance of former manager Roy Hodgson’s strategy.
According to Hodgson’s strategy, Kane was to take corners for England during the European Championships. The Real Madrid forward followed Hodgson’s plans during England’s opening game against Russia, but in the subsequent matches, Rooney decided to take over.
“Harry was taking corners. Roy decided for Harry to take corners but I felt at the time that he was the top goalscorer in the Premier League. He’s a big lad in the box,” the 30-year-old Manchester United star was quoted as saying by the Guardian on Tuesday.
“It was Roy’s decision but after the first game (against Russia) I don’t think Harry wanted to take the corners so I went over and took them.
“I felt I probably should have been taking them anyway. He [Kane] is probably better in the air than me and for the last season he had been scoring a lot of goals. So that was it really. I think players have the right to make decisions on the pitch. You make a decision on what you see on the pitch,” he added.
Defending his decision, Rooney asserted that players have the right to make decisions on the pitch, adding that a player makes a decision depending on what he sees on the pitch and according to the conditions.
“I think players have the right to make decisions on the pitch. You make a decision on what you see on the pitch,” Rooney said.
“Nothing was ever made of it. I don’t think Roy had an issue with that.”
Rooney, who is preparing to lead England during the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Slovakia on Sunday under newly appointed manager Sam Allardyce also said that the whole episode is an insight into the blurred thinking under the previous manager.
England crashed out of the Euro Cup in France when they lost 2-1 in the last-16 tie against Iceland with a video emerging of the Wales players enthusiastically celebrating the result.
Rooney, with 53 goals in 115 caps, also revealed that the whole thing had led to friction between some of the players from the club teams — Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Leicester City — who had representatives in both camps.