Newcastle United Steve McClaren described Wayne Rooney as “one of greatest ever” England striker
McClaren has moved to defend United’s skipper ahead of today’s lunchtime clash with Manchester United.
When he is long gone and finished and you look back, he will be one of the greatest ever to play for EnglandSTEVE McCLAREN
Rooney has come under fire having failed to find the net in four-and-a-half months for his club.
But McClaren – who worked with Rooney when he was England boss – knows all too well the danger the 29-year-old poses.
Rooney is also just two goals away from becoming the all-time top scorer for England.
McClaren believes, if anything, he isn’t appreciated enough.
“Unfortunately, he is one of those types, whatever he does, he will be criticised,” he said.
“But believe me, he won’t give a damn about that.
“He always does a good job for his team whether that is on the wing, in midfield or as the controller, the number 10 or number nine.
“If he is asked to do a job, he does it. He has got to be right up there [in terms of England’s greatest ever].
“Look at the record. That speaks for itself.
“However much you may criticise, when he is long gone and finished and you look back, he will be one of the greatest ever to play for England.
“He may not be appreciated now but he will be in 10 years time. That is always the way of things.
“And probably his best is still to come.”
When asked if he was the best player McClaren had ever managed, the Magpies head coach said: “Wayne is different. Just different, one of the best I have worked with.
“But I have been fortunate to have worked with some top, top ones.”