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Forget the faux outrage, football send-offs are a joyous right of passage in most countries

Wayne Rooney is more than deserving of a final England bow

People love a moan.

Case in point: England’s decision to hand Wayne Rooney a one-off international recall against USA.

Read that sentence. Does it make you angry? If so, allow me to alleviate your grievances. Everything is going to be alright.

Do NOT let an Englishman take a penalty

AP:Associated Press
Do NOT let an Englishman take a penalty

Where does Our Wayne fit into the current England setup?

One of the main complaints surrounding Rooney’s England recall is that he’ll be filling a spot better served by a youngster. Phil Foden, perhaps.

Gareth Southgate named four goalkeepers – Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland, Marcus Bettinelli and Alex McCarthy – in the squad to play Croatia and Spain.

No offence to the Goalkeepers’ Union, but nothing is going to be lost by leaving one of those four at home, especially since the uncapped McCarthy just shipped six goals against Man City.

A textbook long barrier

PA:Press Association
A textbook long barrier

Is there a massive difference between the Championship, where Mason Mount has been starring, and MLS?

It’s not like Rooney has gone over to Washington and been a bit-part player. He took DC United from bottom of the Eastern Conference to the play-offs.

Whatever your opinion, if Nathaniel Chalobah can get in the squad off the back of four Premier League minutes then merit shouldn’t be a topic of discussion.

David Beckham picked up another 21 caps following his move to LA Galaxy, and that was a time when we could still pick from a midfield of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Owen Hargreaves, Michael Carrick and Joe Cole.

Our mistrust of MLS needs updating.

The standard of football has improved significantly in the last decade. Half of the Premier League are currently linked with Atlanta United midfielder Miguel Almiron, while Vancouver Whitecaps winger Alphonso Davies is on his way to Bayern Munich.

Other nations take pride in giving their international stars one final send-off.

Ronaldo’s 98th and final Brazil appearance came in 2011, five years after his 97th cap. Romario? He was recalled for a one-off game after four years in the international wilderness.

Even Robinho was given a crowning 100th cap last year.

Looking trim

Looking trim

Germany wheeled Lukas Podolski out of international retirement to play against England in 2017.

Podolski and Rooney have been unofficial sparring partners for much of their career. Indeed, Podolski beat Rooney to the Best Young Player award at the 2006 World Cup.

Far from being off the pace, Podolski whistled a trademark thunderbolt past Joe Hart to win the game. If anyone’s international career was ended it was Hart’s.


A final chance to send England’s record goalscorer off in front of a packed Wembley, raising money for his foundation in the process, seems a no-brainer.

So, for one last time, let’s get behind Rooney.

If you don’t like it, feel free to stay at home. You won’t be missed.

120 and out

120 and out