England manager Roy Hodgson named Frank Lampard, Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole in his squad to play against Scotland next week along with Wayne Rooney, but has stuck his oar in over the Manchester United forward’s transfer saga saying he has a ‘duty of care’ and wants to prevent the Chelsea players from trying to sway him with any sort of transfer talk.
In many ways he is right as they’re not Chelsea, United, Arsenal, Liverpool or City players when they’re with him, they’re England and there to do a job for the national side alone. But players do talk and even though Hodgson says he cannot prevent it, he will be having a word with his squad.
When asked if the Blues’ players may effectively attempt to ‘tap -up’ Rooney and if he could do anything to prevent this, Hodgson said:
“That might be difficult. Ashley Cole and Wayne are quite close friends. David Moyes must know that as well. If they weren’t speaking in a hotel, they would be speaking on the telephone.
“But I do accept a duty of care. I will try to make it clear to everybody, both the Chelsea players and the Manchester United players and anyone else for that matter – because United are associated with other players that we might have in our squad – that this is England.
“As far as we’re concerned now, you can speak as much as you like to each other, but during these two or three days, this is England, this is England against Scotland and, even more importantly, the matches beyond Scotland. I don’t expect anybody for one minute to fracture their concentration from what’s important.
“I must say that both David Moyes and Jose Mourinho have been fully supportive and fully understand my situation.
I’ve no doubt that Rooney has spoken at length with some of the Chelsea players, especially Cole as Hodgson mentioned, already so the point is a moot one.
The Three Lions boss won’t say it publicly but it would be better for him if Rooney was to leave Manchester United and play as a first-choice centre-forward somewhere else as he’s never going to get in ahead of Robin van Persie, and they really ought to play Shinji Kagawa behind the forward instead of wasting him out wide, so Chelsea represent the best chance of Rooney playing regular football in his preferred position as it stands.
Rooney will be aware of this as well and although he knows that he’s a shoo-in to make the squad that will travel to Brazil for the World Cup next summer (barring injury) he’ll want to go in the best form possible in order to give himself the best chance of impressing at the tournament.
He’s only played 45 minutes of the pre season for his club so far and everyone knows how vital a decent run out against Scotland will prove to be. If he does make the switch to Stamford Bridge then he’ll be some way behind his peers in terms of fitness and it’ll take a few weeks in order to gain match sharpness.