The Football Association will no longer give England players nights off during international breaks after Wayne Rooney was photographed socialising late on Saturday night. The FA and interim manager Gareth Southgate have changed their guidelines about players’ time off, ending the possibility of whole nights off for the rest of the squad, following the story which forced Rooney into a public apology last night.
The FA were very disappointed with the fact that the England captain was photographed out drinking late on Saturday night, the night after the England captain played as England beat Scotland 3-0 at Wembley, not least because of the people Rooney was photographed with. The FA warned Rooney as to his future conduct, although there will be no sanctions beyond that, and will tell every other England player that he cannot be seen in the same situation.
“England personnel have a responsibility to behave appropriately at all times,” said an FA statement yesterday afternoon. “We will be reviewing our policy around free time while on international duty.”
That review had led to a major re-think of England players’ spare time arrangements, as Southgate tries to impose himself on the England set-up. While players will not be kept under constant supervision, they are likelier in future to be granted a few free hours to play golf or see their families, rather than been whole nights off. No-one at the FA, not least Southgate, wants to see a repeat of the Rooney situation ever again.
Rooney apologised to Southgate and FA technical director Dan Ashworth yesterday, but the story raises further questions about the footballing future of the England captain. He has lost his place for both England and Manchester United this season and is no longer an assured starter for either. This particular incident has certainly not impressed the people who his international future depends on.
“Naturally Wayne is sorry that pictures taken with fans have been published,“ said a statement from Rooney's management. ”Although it was a day off for the whole squad and staff, he fully recognises that the images are inappropriate for someone in his position.”
“Earlier today Wayne spoke privately to both Gareth Southgate and Dan Ashworth to unreservedly apologise. He would like to further extend that apology to any young fans who have seen these pictures.”
England vs Spain player ratings
England vs Spain player ratings
1/22 Joe Hart – 6 out of 10
Didn’t see much of the ball at all and had very little to do from a blunted Spain attack.
2/22 Danny Rose – 7 out of 10
Attacked and defended well down the action-packed left flank but picked up a silly yellow.
3/22 Nathaniel Clyne – 7 out of 10
Attacked well down the right-hand side and didn’t see much coming his direction in the way of defending.
4/22 Gary Cahill – 7 out of 10
Solid and controlled the back line well throughout, albeit it with little threat coming his way.
5/22 John Stones – 6 out of 10
Still not looking like a settling presence and played one awful pass to Dier which nearly put caused Spain to win the ball in a dangerous area.
6/22 Jordan Henderson – 7 out of 10
Won the midfield battle with Busquets and looked comfortable with the armband on yet again.
7/22 Eric Dier – 7 out of 10
Needed to be strong in the tackle to stop Stones’ poor pass from being a costly one.
8/22 Raheem Sterling – 9 out of 10
Carvajal will wake up in a fit of sweats tonight with memories of what Sterling did to him. Tortured the Spanish defence and was brilliant throughout.
9/22 Adam Lallana – 8 out of 10
Flawless in the 24 minutes he played before going off injured. His teasing cross drew the penalty and he converted it brilliantly.
10/22 Jesse Lingard – 7 out of 10
Started strongly in the No 10 role but faded as the game went on. His pace was always a threat though.
11/22 Jamie Vardy – 9 out of 10
Was clever in winning the penalty and luring Reina’s challenge and there was no one stopping him getting his head on the ball from his goal. Good celebration too.
12/22 Pepe Reina – 5 out of 10
Was made to look like a fool by Vardy for the penalty in the first half but saved well from Henderson in the second.
13/22 Cesar Azpilicueta – 6 out of 10
Attacked well down the left and avoided most of England’s attacking threat, which was all down the other channel.
14/22 Inigo Martinez – 5 out of 10
Got a cynical yellow for a challenge on Walcott and didn’t really look comfortable.
15/22 Nacho – 5 out of 10
Another to struggle with England’s attack and was left chasing shadows.
16/22 Dani Carvajal – 5 out of 10
Struggled with the pace of Sterling, Lingard and Vardy throughout and didn’t manage to get forward as he would have liked.
17/22 Sergio Busquets – 5 out of 10
Failed to stem the midfield flow as he usually does for Barca and was another to struggle with England’s pace.
18/22 Thiago Alcantara – 6 out of 10
Played in a slightly deeper role and looked classy in everything he did – although failed to create anything of any substance.
19/22 Vitolo – 4 out of 10
Had a shot in the first half which he dragged wide but had a tough evening at Wembley.
20/22 Juan Mata – 5 out of 10
Exchanged a couple of neat passes with Silva but failed to create anything of note.
21/22 David Silva – 6 out of 10
The leader of the team on the night and did all he could to get Spain in it.
22/22 Artiz Aduriz – 4 out of 10
Barely saw the ball and wasted a good chance in the first half with an under-hit pass to Vitolo.
Southgate confirmed on Tuesday night that the free-time arrangements on England duty were under review. “The players over the last few years have been allowed to go home during a period of time,” Southgate said. “They trained on Saturday morning and again on Sunday afternoon and I gave the players a period of time off. Obviousy I would have to review it. There were lots of changes we made to routines. Some things we felt we should keep the same, some things would have to be reviewed.”Reuse content