Sir Geoff Hurst’s call for Gareth Southgate not to recall Wayne Rooney for the upcoming England squad is baffling.
Rooney has been in fine form for Everton since returning to the club, scoring in both games so far and notching his 200th Premier League goal at Manchester City on Monday.
Despite Rooney being England’s all-time top scorer, Hurst insists he should be ditched for the World Cup qualifying games against Malta and Lithuania.
“He (Southgate) has made some bold decisions and I think the bold one he can make is, for me, to say it’s the end of Wayne Rooney’s international career,” Hurst told Sky Sports.
“He has been an absolutely fantastic player. At club level he wasn’t playing regularly for Manchester United last season, which is an indication – and if you are not playing regularly at club level you certainly should not represent England, in my opinion.
“I wouldn’t necessary call it a bold decision to not play Wayne Rooney anymore, but if I were in charge of the national team I would call Wayne up and say, ‘thanks very much’.
“He has been a fantastic player, one of the greatest players in this country but old Father Time, and I have been there as a striker, comes where you lose a bit of sharpness and I think his time playing for England is over.”
Putting aside the fact Hurst used the phrase “for me” (we know it is, it’s you giving the opinion), suggesting Rooney’s England career should be ended at the grand old age of 31 is ridiculous.
Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy will undoubtedly be picked, but to suggest any of Marcus Rashford, Daniel Sturridge, Jermain Defoe, or anyone else for that matter, should get in ahead of Rooney just doesn’t make sense.
The Everton star may have lost a yard of pace, but his current form coupled with his record at international level should make him an automatic choice for the squad.
While Hurst will forever be an England legend for his achievements in 1966, his views on Rooney are painfully wide of the mark.
Hurst’s own managerial career was a flop – now we know why.