Sunday 21 January 2018

'No comment' - Jose Mourinho sticks by Wayne Rooney as drinking controversy continues

Wayne Rooney and Jose Mourinho
Wayne Rooney and Jose Mourinho
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho declined to add fuel to the fire burning around his captain Wayne Rooney after a week of negative headlines following his drinking exploits while he was on England duty.

Rooney’s late night drinking session at the England team hotel has created front and back page headlines in recent days, with the striker now expected to be stripped of the captaincy of his national team after the incident last Sunday.

Mourinho was reported to be furious with the story that has dominated the sporting agenda in recent days, but he was keen to side step questions on the subject as he faced the media on Friday.

“What happened in the national team happened in the national team, I don’t comment,” said Mourinho ahead of Saturday’s Premier League game against Arsenal.

“Sometimes they come back stronger than when they left us because something good happened there, positive for them, other times injuries, sometimes big injuries, sometimes frustrations because they didn’t play or the result was bad.

“In this case, we knew what didn’t go well but the national team is a different chapter and is closed now until March.

“Over the last two or three days nothing happened, he (Rooney) trained like everybody else, he wants to play like everybody else, he’s ready.

“My players when they go there belong to the national team and I don’t like to comment."

Meanwhile, former United defender Gary Neville has entered the debate over the Rooney affair, as he suggested the stories that have been dramatised in the newspapers over the last few days have been blown out of all proportion.

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