Wayne Rooney on Harry Kane, England and the title race
Everton forward in thought-provoking mood as a pundit.
Wayne Rooney discussed a number of subjects in his maiden appearance as a pundit on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football show.
Here Press Association Sport picks out some of the topics the 32-year-old touched upon:
On his return to Everton this summer
“It was the perfect move for me, at this stage of my career I think Everton was the right move. It just felt right and I always knew in the back of my head that I wanted to go back there. Although the season hasn’t gone to plan, I’m enjoying it and I’m trying to help us get better.”
On Everton’s season so far
“We felt like we’d let (former caretaker manager David Unsworth) down a little bit with some of our performances. The manager is the one who pays the ultimate price, they get sacked and lose their jobs. As players we need to take responsibility. The manager can only do so much. As a group of players you need to take ownership. It’s not nice when you’re a player and your manager gets sacked. You know you haven’t done your job properly. We did well when Sam (Allardyce) came in, he got us back to basics, we were hard to beat and had some really good results. The last few weeks, not so good, but we’re still in a decent position in the league.”
On Manchester City and the title race
“In terms of catching Manchester City, I think certainly not this season and, if I’m being perfectly honest, it will be very difficult next season if City keep playing the way they are playing. They are almost getting to the level Barcelona were at four or five years ago. It’s not nice to say but if you can’t enjoy that style of football then you won’t enjoy football. It’s great to watch, the courage they have on the ball, it’s almost the perfect football at times. (Pep) Guardiola is putting the foundations in place to try and emulate that Barcelona team and you can see they are well on their way to doing that.”
On Manchester United’s new signing Alexis Sanchez
“For me he’s the perfect player for Manchester United, he’s got aggression, passion, desire and you can see he’s a winner. That’s sort of what Manchester United have lacked – players around (Romelu) Lukaku who are going to push him on and help him score more goals. They are the players you want, almost like (Carlos) Tevez when he joined United. Those players lift the others.”
On England and Tottenham striker Harry Kane
“He’s the best striker in Europe right now. It hurts him when he doesn’t win, and you can’t say that about all the players. He really wants to win and score goals, he wants to improve. He is the natural leader now in that England team. He is the one that really has to wear the armband. If England are going to do well this summer it’s on how well he does. He can go wherever he really wants to, he is that good. His motivation is going to change from goals to trophies and if Tottenham don’t win trophies in the next year, maybe two, he’s going to go elsewhere to win them. That is the decision he has to make in the next year or two. Tottenham have also got decisions, whether they bring in more players and really have a push at winning the Premier League.”