England wrong to overlook Carrick insists Rooney
Published 02/04/2015 | 02:30
Wayne ROONEY has suggested that a succession of England managers, including Roy Hodgson, have wrongly taken the "easy choice" of overlooking Michael Carrick in favour of bigger-name players.
While Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard have gathered 220 England caps between them, Carrick's tally still stands at 33 despite him making his debut when he was still a West Ham United player in 2001 under Sven-Goran Eriksson. Hodgson did not select Carrick in his squads for either Euro 2012 or the 2014 World Cup and a feature of England's poor performances in those tournaments was their weakness in possession.
Carrick, though, was always hugely valued by Alex Ferguson in -helping Manchester United to win five Premier League titles and reach three Champions League finals. Ferguson claimed this season that Carrick was the "best English player in the game".
Louis van Gaal is another big admirer and Rooney is adamant that his United team-mate should always also have been in the team.
"I think he was probably more of an easy choice to leave out of the England team when we had big name players in the squad," Rooney said.
"Unfortunately that was Michael. But I always felt he should be in the team."
At the World Cup finals last summer, Hodgson opted for Lampard, Gerrard and James Milner above Carrick in his squad but also younger players in Jordan Henderson, Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Carrick responded by saying that he was "disappointed" and that "to miss out hurts".
Gareth Barry, Jack Wilshere and Owen Hargreaves have also been preferred by other England managers. Phil Jones even started as the holding midfielder against Italy but England were a vastly improved team once Carrick came on.
Asked if Carrick had been underrated, Rooney said: "Not from me and certainly not from Manchester United fans. I think he is a fantastic player. He has been a big reason why, at United, we have won so many trophies." (© Daily Telegraph, London)