England boss Hodgson worried about Rooney responsibility
England manager Roy Hodgson admits he is worried that the amount of responsibility being placed on Wayne Rooney’s shoulders.
Rooney is captain of Manchester United, who are enduring a tough season as they look to assimilate their big-money summer signings, and the national side.
Rooney is set to join England’s centurions club when, as expected, he will lead the side out at Wembley for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia on November 15, which is likely to be an 80,000 sell-out.
The 29-year-old took over the England armband following the retirement of Steven Gerrard after the World Cup, and was also the choice to lead the Manchester United side under new manager Louis van Gaal.
Hodgson believes Rooney is currently coping well but admits he will be monitoring the situation.
"I think Wayne is in a very good place at the moment, and he has been a very good player over the past couple of years," said Hodgson.
"I made an effort to meet him before I was officially appointed in that two weeks spell where I was doubling up as West Brom manager.
"I was interested in what am I going to meet here? Will it be someone who is burning to play? Or someone who will take it as ‘well, I will do you a favor for a bit longer if it suits me’. I met the man who was burning to play, and that is the way he has been all along.
"Since he has been made captain, I think he has taken an even further step, both at Manchester United and with us.
"The big question is, of course, as one of the few seniors left in the team, absolutely guaranteed if you like a place in the team, the same at Manchester United, I worry the sense of responsibility is going to weigh him down.
"We do all we can, myself and the coaching staff, to make sure that will not happen with us, but of course when you take something seriously, it is all very well telling someone to leave your problems behind and don’t worry about them, to get on with your life, it is easy to say, but very hard to do sometimes.
"That is the danger – sometimes when players take on responsibility, they take on too much and it is to the detriment of their own game.
"We have seen Steven do that on occasions in the past – he cares so much for England, for Liverpool, sometimes they take it all on their shoulders. I think that is very unfair.
"I don’t care whether you are a captain or Lionel Messi or (Cristiano) Ronaldo, I don’t think you can be expected to take all the responsibility on your shoulders.
"What you should be doing is doing your bit and being as good as you are and inspiring the other players in the team.
"At the moment Wayne is coping with it well, but we will have to keep an eye on the situation, as will Louis, to make sure it does not weigh him down.
"But until that time comes we have just got to get on with it and be glad that he is doing the job that we as coaching staff want him to do, and ensure that the other players know there job so well that they are not relying on him to get them out of trouble."