mercurial Interim boss Southgate took the bold decision to drop the
country's record goalscorer for last month's draw in Slovenia but confirmed he
would return to captain the side in Friday's British derby against Scotland.
The match at Wembley is a notable one for many reasons, from its historical
context as international football's oldest fixture to its importance on both
sides' World Cup qualifying hopes.
But despite his best attempts to deflect the spotlight it could also be a
defining moment for Southgate, whose short-term deal expires after next week's
friendly with Spain.
As a calling card, a convincing defeat of England's neighbours and top spot
in Group F would be a handy one for the 46-year-old to have at his disposal when
discussions over the permanent post reopen.
Recalling Rooney was a decision made easier by the absence through injury of
Dele Alli and, although the vacant number 10 role seems the most natural fit, he
can be used in a deeper midfield role or as a centre forward.
Wherever he is deployed, Southgate has been happy simply to see the
31-year-old back in Manchester United's starting line-up in recent weeks and
pressing his case.
"There was no hesitation from my point of view in playing him," said
cheap women soccer
cleats "He's in a better place than he was for the last
get-together in terms of his sharpness, his confidence.
"'I think experience in a game like this is important. With a team that has a
lot of energy and potential you also need a lot of experience in there too.
"He's playing well. He's played well in his last couple of matches for
Manchester United. He's a player who when he's in a rhythm of playing that
obra Rooney's days as a first-choice central striker appear to be
largely in the past and that job is one earmarked for Harry Kane, providing he
is fully fit.
The Tottenham man made his return after seven weeks of ankle problems against
Arsenal on Sunday but, after being monitored by medical staff at the start of
the week, he appears to have a green light to face Scotland.
Southgate declared he had an entire squad to choose from, although the
imminent birth of Theo Walcott's second child may prove a potential dilemma.
women ace 16+
purecontrol Preparations for the game have, understandably, been
dominated by nostalgia.
Since the inaugural outing in 1872, the teams have played on 112 occasions
and the sporting rivalry between the nations shows no sign of dissipating.
vapor Although there have been friendlies in 2013 and 2014, both
won by England, the teams have not played competitively for 17 years when the
Three Lions edged a two-legged play-off for Euro 2000.
Before that came Euro 96, and Paul Gascoigne's unforgettable finish in a 2-0