Dwight Yorke gives his opinion on Gareth Southgate's treatment of Wayne Rooney

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England's caretaker manager Gareth Southgate has already made big headlines for himself in his current post at Wembley, just two games into his reign.

The 46-year-old made a bold, and somewhat brave, decision to axe Three Lions captain Wayne Rooney for England's visit to Slovenia on Tuesday night.

But while the decision was not totally surprising, considering his club form, the Three Lions were unable to find the net in their goalless draw against Slovenia.


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However, that decision did not sit well with former Manchester United forward Dwight Yorke, who has criticised the way in which Southgate treated the England captain prior to the match.

Rooney, as part of his duties as captain, was present to face the media alongside Southgate, before the England boss publicly revealed the country's all-time top goalscorer would not be starting in Ljubljana.

Speaking to 888Sport, Yorke has claimed Rooney was humiliated by Southgate - knowing full well that he was set to be dropped for England's World Cup qualifier in front of the world's media.

“Sometimes you have to show people a little faith and for Gareth Southgate to make that call, well I thought that was a little strange." said Yorke.

“To then put him in front of the media to face the music and say he isn’t going to play was disrespectful and a disgrace in my opinion.”

But despite Southgate making the big call to drop Rooney, his England side still failed to deliver a convincing display against the 67th-ranked side in the world, after a tame affair - where goals were concerned - against Malta at Wembley, last Saturday.

Rooney surpassed England greats such Bobby Charlton, Gary Lineker and Jimmy Greaves in the scoring charts a while back. However, his current predicament at club level has clearly had an impact on his international career also.

However, Yorke has urged the manager, and supporters alike, to remember what the 30-year-old has accomplished on a personal level, for his country.


“People forget he’s the greatest English player and the goals he has scored. We’ve all gone through spells where you’re not playing well and it’s a real battle but the way people have talked about him is really disrespectful.

“It’s a real difficult time because he’s asked to play all these different positions and gets all the flak he does yet he tries his hardest every single game.

“Then you get people like Gareth Southgate taking him out of the team because of the pressure from the media and I think that’s wrong especially coming off the back of a positive result.

“It’s a different situation at club level. His England performances have been stronger than his performances for Manchester United.

“People in football have such bloody short memories. He just has to get his confidence back and play in the manner we’re used to banging in goals. Then everyone will be singing his praises again.”

Rooney has certainly fallen on hard times, where his form is concerned. But while it is clear that the United star has a lot of work to do to re-find the player he once was, Yorke has urged the United captain to remain at Old Trafford and fight for his future under Jose Mourinho.

No club like United

“People are suggesting he should leave but that wouldn’t be a good call for him. If you leave Manchester United you’ll never find another club like that." Yorke added.

“He has to fight his way through this season and we know he’s good enough to do that. He has never had to do this before – convince himself that he is still good.

“He still has that in his locker. I went from a striker to a midfielder but he has to be persistent in one position and just play in that role. That’s his best position and that’s where he should play.

“We’ve all been there and know what that feels like. You’re tempted to take the easy option but that’s never a good thing. He needs to fight and show people.”

The England star hasn't found the net for United since the club's opening day win away to Bournemouth in August, and has recently been dropped by Mourinho in the Red Devils' past two games against Leicester and Stoke.

And it seems that the out-of-form United man will start from the bench once again on Monday, when Mourinho's men travel to Anfield to face rivals Liverpool, who Yorke has backed to challenge for the Premier League title under Jurgen Klopp this season.

"Liverpool have a genuine chance of winning the Premier League this year that’s for sure." said Yorke. “There is more fluency in the side now and under Klopp Liverpool are full of confidence and playing some good football now."

Did Gareth Southgate make the right call to drop Wayne Rooney against Slovenia on Tuesday night? Have your say in the comment box below.

Wayne Rooney
England Football
Marcus Rashford
Chris Smalling
Manchester United
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