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United legend: Wayne Rooney not first player to face criticism



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rooney_1696513aManchester United legend Gary Neville believes England striker Wayne Rooney can handle criticism.

The 28-year-old was blamed for his performance against England’s 2-1 defeat to Italy in Group D clash of the 2014 World Cup. The Three Lions manager Roy Hodgson deployed him on the left-wing.

Neville, who is Hodgson’s assistant  believes England loves to make a scapegoat and says Rooney is not the first player to face this from the English fans.

“Our country loves it, creating a drama around one player. This time it’s Wayne Rooney but that comes with the territory of being an important player in a big nation. I’ve never known there not be an obsession around one player,” Neville told the BBC Radio 5 Live.

“It was Gascoigne from 1996 to 1998, Beckham from 2000 to 2006. From 2006, it was Rooney and Beckham. Now it’s Rooney to 2014. Unfortunately – or fortunately, because he is a big player – this time it’s Wayne Rooney.”

Meanwhile, Rooney slammed the media after he was found doing overtime in the training with England reserves. It was earlier reported that the Red Devils star could be dropped for England’s crucial encounter against Uruguay. The former United defender says it is hard to see Rooney not train hard.

“You can’t get him to do a light day’s training. That’s his character. He just wants to play every second of every day,” Old Trafford favourite said.

“He has an enthusiasm for football that is incredible and he’s been like that since the moment I played against him when he was a young Everton kid,: Neville concluded.

One needs to wait till the game to see if Rooney will start against Uruguay as all eyes will be on the striker to prove his worth of being in England’s starting XI. A defeat against Uruguay is likely to end the Three Lions’ hope of progressing to the next stage of this year’s World Cup.