Gareth Southgate picking Wayne Rooney shows England manager is not above the PR twaddle we thought he hated

WHEN Gareth Southgate first took charge of England, he stated he loved the sport but disliked much about the football industry.

We understood exactly what he meant and our hearts gladdened.

Gareth Southgate picking Wayne Rooney shows England manager is not above the PR twaddle we thought he hated6 Wayne Rooney will play for England again after a controversial honorary call-up from Gareth Southgate, albeit for a charity game against the USA

Southgate, we assume, doesn’t like England’s five richest clubs holding clandestine meetings about breakaway European super leagues.

Or Manchester City allegedly threatening Uefa with the expensiveness of their lawyers.

He probably doesn’t care much for Alexis Sanchez being introduced as a Manchester United player as a concert pianist on a social media film noir, before the Chilean started trousering £500,000-a-week to score four goals in a year.

Nor John Terry staging his own substitution in the 26th minute of his final match for Chelsea — 26 being his sacred shirt number — and a Premier League match being halted for his guard of honour.

Gareth Southgate picking Wayne Rooney shows England manager is not above the PR twaddle we thought he hatedAFP6 Man Utd and Everton legend Wayne Rooney hit 53 goals in 119 games for England
Gareth Southgate picking Wayne Rooney shows England manager is not above the PR twaddle we thought he hatedReuters6 Boss Gareth Southgate and striker Wayne Rooney, now with DC United, will be reunited one more time for England

We assumed Southgate disliked the entitlement, egotism and PR twaddle which is so much of the modern football industry.

And so he built an England team which was hungry and rootsy and authentic and likeable and far away from the empty excesses of the failed Golden Generation.

Not just that, but his England team reached the World Cup semi-finals and, in their most recent outing, stuffed Spain away.

Southgate said there would be no easy caps and everything he did spoke of a quiet determination to draw a line under the phonyism and cronyism of the Sven-Goran Eriksson era, which he had experienced first hand as a player.

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