‘Leaving out Rooney from England’s WC qualifier will be a mistake’
London, Nov 9 (IANS) Former England skipper Terry Butcher believes the exclusion of Wayne Rooney from the national side will give Scotland an advantage in a crucial football World Cup qualifier to be held on Friday.
Rooney, who has been out of favour in his club Manchester United, is expected to be in the England teamsheet for the match to be held at the Wembley stadium.
Butcher said England need him back in the starting line-up as a leader as they are still mentally scarred following the embarrassing second round Euro exit to minnows Iceland.
“Psychologically, we are very scarred,” he told Express.co.uk on Tuesday.
“For an international team we’re pretty young and inexperienced and mentally very, very weak. That comes through lack of progress in tournaments. That comes through not fulfilling the promise they’ve got. That can and does scar you.”
“If the current squad is lacking anything it is the characters and the leaders. But Rooney is the captain and a leader. If I was playing for Scotland – God forbid – and if Rooney didn’t play on Friday I’d be delighted, absolutely thrilled, because he can score goals,” he added.
“I hope Rooney plays in the No.10 role because that is obviously vacant. Ross Barkley isn’t in the squad, Delle Ali is injured. I know Raheem Sterling has played there but Rooney is tailor-made to be there. Plus he played there when we beat the Scots 3-1 at Celtic Park two years ago, he scored twice and he was magnificent. I hope he is magnificent on Friday.”
Butcher also spoke of his belief that interim coach Gareth Southgate will be named the permanent England head coach regardless of the outcome of Friday’s match. England play Spain next Tuesday after hosting Scotland.
“England have to look longer term than just one or two games. Whatever the result and performance, Gareth should get the job. And my understanding is that he will. I think the FA’s mind is made up.” the 57-year-old added.
“I love the fact he is English and I love the fact he has been there for England as an international player. He’s been around modern football, he knows modern players, he knows about international matches and how to prepare for them.”
“The players like him, he has their respect, they won’t mess him about because he knows what to do. He knows the younger players coming through having been Under 21 coach,” the former defender said to the English paper.