Hardly a shrinking violet during a trophy laden playing career, Graeme Souness represented Liverpool’s unshakable grit during the clubs most successful spell on the early to late 90’s.
Indeed, the Scotsman was also one hell of a player.
With it being a while since the uncompromising character had something outspoken to say from his SkySports punditry arm chair, the former Newcastle United and Blackburn boss has taken aim at a similarly decorated icon of the English game.
Questioning Englands record goal scorer Wayne Rooney and his disappointing centre midfield transition, Souness commented rather bluntly during an interview with the Express recently;
“I’d have thought the natural move for him as a striker would be to a central midfield player, I thought that would have been seamless and he would have got that overnight. But he has not grasped that.
“An occasional ping of a ball from right to left wing does not make a good central midfielder. There is a lot more to it than that.
As we said, blunt.
Whilst there was flashes of competence playing in the role during the a disastrous Euro 2016 campaign, the latter stages of Rooney’s career has become an unflinching disappointment for England and Manchester United fans abound.
Souness then moved on to highlight the players relatively young years, especially considering his seeming veteran status in the game.
“He is 31 – I had my best football years at 31. I am mystified with it. He’s not understanding that position. It is not an occasional Hollywood ball, there is far more to it than that. It is about filling areas, it is about standing still rather than moving a lot of the time.
Before giving his opinion on where the Champions League winner should consider playing his football in the future.
“He loves his football, I would imagine he will want to go somewhere where he will play regularly. This will have been his worst season of professional football, he has just not played enough games.
Whilst a money driven swansong to the MLS, perhaps even China, is set to be Rooney’s next destination, Souness couldn’t help but reminisce about his glory days.
“I did it at 31. I went to Serie A and it certainly didn’t do me any harm. At that time Italy was the place to go, Serie A was the Premier League of today. All the big players were in Serie A.”
(Via the Express)