SportSoccer

Rooney reveals he took a key decision for England at Euro 2016

Rooney stopped Harry Kane taking set-pieces at Euro 2016
Rooney stopped Harry Kane taking set-pieces at Euro 2016

England captain Wayne Rooney has revealed it was his decision to stop Harry Kane taking corners at Euro 2016.

Kane took all six corners in the opening game of England's ill-fated European Championship campaign against Russia in Marseille.

Then England manager Roy Hodgson was heavily criticised for employing last season's 25-goal top Premier League scorer in this way and Rooney has now said he intervened in the matter.

Asked in an interview with the Daily Mail if it was his decision to relieve Kane of corner duty, Rooney simply replied: "Yes."

Former England striker Alan Shearer was among those to criticise Hodgson at the time, saying Kane was "well within his rights" to tell the manager that he should be in the penalty area on the end of corners rather than taking them.

Shearer said Rooney and Adam Lallana were better suited to the role, and now Kane's club manager Mauricio Pochettino has expressed his surprise at Hodgson's call in France.

"I don't want to criticise," Tottenham boss Pochettino told the Daily Mail. "But I think Harry is a top scorer, so why is he taking free-kicks or corners if his skill is to score? You need to stay in the box, not outside."

Pochettino said he was also surprised by the criticism that came Kane's way during a tournament in which the 23-year-old failed to score.

"There was no reason (for criticism)," said Pochettino.

"You know that when you are disappointed with the result you try to find a reason why, and find the guilty.

"Harry was in the same line-up as the other players. Some good, some bad. It's not just his responsibility.

"In football you need to share responsibility. It is the manager first, the coaching staff and the players. The responsibility is not one player's."

Rooney, meanwhile, has said he will continue playing for England for at least two more years - whether he is captain or not.

New England boss Sam Allardyce has remained tight-lipped over the Manchester United player's future as Three Lions skipper since his appointment.

Allardyce has said he will reveal his decision when the squad meet up for their World Cup qualifier against Slovakia in September.

However, Rooney has no intention of considering his international future for another two years, even if Allardyce hands the armband to someone else.

He said: ''I'll carry on until the World Cup in 2018 and then I might have a decision to make. But for the next two years, captain or not captain, I'll turn up and be available to play if I am wanted.''

Rooney continued: ''I've spoken to him. Not at length about how we're going to play or my role, but he seems very excited about the job and he'll have his own way of doing it.

''I don't think it would be fair to expect him to make a decision on the captaincy now.

''So I'll wait and see what he thinks. He'll want to see the group, work with us all and then make his decision.''