Jamie Redknapp: Wayne Rooney must do this to get back into the first-team

by Leo Nieboer

Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp believes Wayne Rooney needs to discover some immediate form in response to the media frenzy surrounding his ‘drunken antics’ at a recent wedding.

Rooney, who visited a wedding reception at the hotel where some England teammates were staying, was pictured in a decidedly inebriated state, with onlookers describing the striker as “s***faced.”

England caretaker manager Gareth Southgate insisted the striker’s drunken rampage had nothing to do with his omission from the England squad that faced Spain.

Redknapp, speaking on Sky Sports ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Arsenal on Saturday, claimed the striker needs to mount an immediate response.

“When you’re someone as famous as Rooney, and you’re not in the best of form, you have to be so careful. If you want to have a couple of drinks, fine. But don’t get caught at a wedding,” he said.

“Rooney has let his guard down really badly and he’ll be kicking himself.

“He’s given people who were waiting for him an opportunity to go for him and they’ve done that. He’s not been in the best of form, things haven’t gone as well as he’d have liked of late and as soon as you make a mistake like this you leave yourself wide open for people to slaughter you and jump in.

“It’s important he finds some form, starts scoring some goals and doesn’t give anyone an excuse to drop him because of this.”

I firmly believe that there is nothing wrong with Rooney drinking himself into oblivion after a long week’s work. This is what the English public specialises in, and the 31-year-old is no different from any us in that respect.

The crucial difference, however, is that when I get ‘s***faced’ the repercussions include nothing more than a sore head and some embarrassing stories from the night before. With Rooney, however, a nation-wide cacophony of derision awaits him, even after just a couple of drinks.

This is the life Rooney leads: never out of the spotlight, always on his guard, consigned to do nothing but play football and awkwardly appear in various adverts. And despite his supposed ‘blip’ on Friday, the captain’s status as a responsible, disciplined worker remains in tact.

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