Rooney reveals Allardyce apologies to him for THAT comment
It was arguably one of the most remarkable comments offered up by an England manager and now Wayne Rooney has revealed he received an apology from Sam Allardyce after being caught up in a media storm.
Allardyce's claim that Rooney could "play wherever he wants" after England's 1-0 win against Slovakia last month sparked suggestions that the Manchester United striker was a little too big a personality for the new national team boss to handle.
Of course, Allardyce never got the chance to clarify those comments on Rooney's role in his team as he was sacked following a Daily Telegraph sting last week, but England's record goal scorer has now revealed he was afforded a grovelling apology from the now former boss.
"He knew he had made a mistake. That's part of being involved at this level," stated Rooney, who confirmed Allardyce apologised to him on the plane back to England.
"He understood that quite early and unfortunately he doesn't have the chance to rectify that now."
"It couldn't be further from the truth, I play to instructions. I got battered in many different ways for my performance, which I felt was actually a decent performance.
"I suffered from that, but I thought Sam's change in putting Dele (Alli) on allowed us to win the game, with me and Eric (Dier) controlling it and winning the second balls, getting balls into dangerous areas.
Rejecting the theory he has burned out but conceding he has lost some of his pace, the 30-year-old feels his footballing intelligence will allow him to dictate games in midfield "to a very high standard" for years to come.
It appears a matter of when rather than if that full-time switch comes about, with former England assistant Gary Neville saying this is a "transition into a new phase" of Rooney's career, just like Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Steven Gerrard before him.
"I have heard a lot of people talking about transition - well, let me do it," he said.
"If that is what's going to happen, let me do that. I feel I am not being given a chance if that is the way I want to go in my career to expand it. I am not being given that chance to go from there to there.
"It is all right talking about your career, saying you can extend it by doing this and that, but of course you need to be given that chance to do it.
"I'm not saying that I want to go and play there. I've said in the last couple of years that will happen.
"Whether it happens now or in a year or two's time, time will tell. Listen, I believe in the managers I work under and if that's where they want me to play that's where I'll play."
Rooney speaks to Mourinho every day and is sure he will listen to that desire to eventually move into midfield, insisting he is happy to play in attack now but admitting selfishness may be required down the line if not playing.
"We chat every day. I've said before, I knew the Watford game I didn't play well," Rooney added ahead of Gareth Southgate's first match in charge against Malta.
"I didn't deserve to play the next game, I understood that, and the team have done well, so I have to bide my time and take my chance.
"My career will be determined on what we won as a team. I am not a player who is happy to not to win as a team but to get individual trophies.
"I have never been that sort of player. I am proud of the trophies we have won as a team. That is the way I am now. I want to play football. I love football, whether it is scoring or not."