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Guardiola and Klopp are helping a lot of our young players- Wayne Rooney

Written by: Tushaar Sachdeva

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Coming back for his farewell England game, Wazza insists that the quality of national camp is improving because of the likes of the Liverpool and City gaffers.

The former Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney is currently training with the England national team for his farewell game. Talking on the eve of the game, Rooney believes that the presence of foreign managers in the name of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp is helping the English pool of footballers and accepts that the national team were a few steps behind in their coaching capabilities in previous major events.

Wayne Rooney first played for the Three Lions at the age of 18 years and has been a part of the camp since then until his sudden international retirement in August 2017. In a span of 14 years, he faced several knock-outs from major tournaments including the infamous exit from 2014 World Cup from group stages itself.

Despite playing with arguably the greatest generation in English history, they failed to proceed further than quarter-finals of any tournament in recent history which Gareth Southgate's young side broke this year after reaching the Semi-finals of FIFA World Cup 2018.

Rooney, in an interview with Sky Sports ahead of winning his 120th farewell game against the USA which will also be called Wayne Rooney Foundation International, insists that he knows the turning point after an array of disappointing years.

Wayne last played for the three lions against Slovakia in 2016

"As a team I think we were unlucky on a couple of occasions, on penalties, but I think we could have done better," he said.

"Maybe if we had those players in this era, when there does seem to be a lot more coaching, a lot more intelligence in terms of how the teams are prepared and set up, I think a lot of coaches, the likes of Guardiola and Klopp coming into the Premier League, are helping a lot of our young players," he said without a reference of his former club's manager Jose Mourinho.

"I know there is a debate over foreign managers in the Premier League but I believe what they're doing for the likes of Raheem Sterling, Kyle Walker, players like that, has given them a massive amount of knowledge of how to play the game. It's my turn to go and watch as a fan now and try to enjoy it that way."




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Sven Goran Eriksson was the first foreign manager in their history. The appointment became a controversy in those times, yet his impressive display of football earned them many lauds especially the 5-1 win against Germany in 2001 but could never lead England post the quarter-final stage. 

Eriksson's successors Steve McClaren, Fabio Capello and Roy Hodgson also failed to better the fact with Wayne Rooney in their side.

He said: "I just feel the managers we had were good, but if you're asking were they at a level of a Spain or German manager, or Italian manager?

"You look at the Italian side who won the World Cup, quality-wise I don't think they were as good as a few teams in the tournament, but just tactically they knew what they were doing, they knew their jobs and knew everything, and I think we were just one step behind with that."

One of the hurdles that Gareth Southgate successful handled was the in-camp domestic rivalries that existed with the 'Golden Generation' in 2000s. Players were witnessed goofing around on their social media bypassing their domestic rivalries, one such incident happened when Jesse Lingard uploaded an Instagram story of Trent Alex-Arnold having a hair-cut, not letting the Manchester United-Liverpool on-field rivalry between them.

Published: Thu Nov 15, 2018 02:07 PM IST

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