Wayne Rooney's recent decline took something of a nose dive on Monday when Gareth Southgate confirmed the 30-year-old had been dropped for England's World Cup qualifier with Slovenia.
Not since 2003 has Rooney started a game of such magnitude on the bench for the Three Lions, against Liechtenstein in the build-up to Euro 2004.
His demotion was a sign of the times; the Manchester United captain is no longer the energetic, agile striker he once was, and is now regarded as a central midfielder.
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Quite how Rooney has lost his touch so dramatically remains a mystery, though. Age is certainly working against him, but he should still be able to comfortably compete at the highest level.
Ryan Giggs feels he has the answer.
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Ahead of Tuesday night's clash, the Welshman gave his take on Rooney being dropped and explained how he thinks his former teammate is confused about where he's meant to be playing.
Giggs also appeared to blame Jose Mourinho (see below).
He said on ITV: "I see a player who's going through a transitional period. I went through it when I was 29 or 30, where I was a winger and I couldn’t knock it around a defender and get it the other side.
"I feel a little bit sorry for him. Towards last season and for England in the summer he was played in that deeper role, then he was told he's playing as a No.9 or a No.10 [by Mourinho]. He's probably a bit confused.
"The only way he can get it back is on the training pitch.
"I don't see him playing in a specific position. He's got the talent to play so many positions, and the experience."
One way or another, both Mourinho and Southgate need to find a solution to Rooney's predicament before he completely fades.
Time is of the essence and finding the England captain a set position, rather than using him as a utility player, would undoubtedly be beneficial.
Where Rooney is concerned, he feels he can play in central midfield to a "very high standard" for both club and country.
He said in a recent Q&A session: "I feel I can control and dictate games from there.
"I'm not saying I'm better. I'm saying I can play there to a very high standard. Time will tell. Of course, it's obvious I'm not as quick as I was.
"You can always have a football brain. I've got that. A lot is made of where I play, and how I play, and obviously it gets a bit frustrating at times.
"But of course 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.
"But at the minute, I'm happy playing where my managers want me to play.
Like Rooney says, perhaps it's time to be a bit more selfish.
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