Jose Mourinho believes heavy criticism of his captain Wayne Rooney will leave the striker feeling fragile.
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Rooney, 31, has been lambasted by many for being photographed drunk at a wedding at England’s team hotel last Saturday night, the day after he captained the Three Lions to victory against Scotland in a World Cup qualifier.
Speaking ahead of Manchester United’s clash against Arsenal on Saturday, Mourinho defended Rooney, who has since apologized for his actions, and believes the harsh words will have an impact.
“Even if you build a wall around you to protect you from what people write or think, it always has points of fragility,” Mourinho explained. “We are flesh and blood, so I think it has an effect.”
It obviously had a big enough effect on Rooney because Mourinho dropped him to the bench for the game against Arsenal…
Mourinho also spoke further about the incident which saw Rooney and England teammate Phil Jagielka drinking in a hotel bar, while many other England players were said to be out partying elsewhere in London after beating Scotland.
“If you go one by one, to see where these 23 players were, some of them were in worse places than the hotel bar,” Mourinho added.
It got better.
Mourinho clearly wasn’t happy with the English national team giving the players time off during the break and there are also some reports that members of the England backroom staff were in the hotel bar along with Rooney.
Considering Rooney is technically “on loan” from United to England, Mourinho spoke of a childhood lesson to lecture the FA.
“I learned since I was a kid, if somebody lends me something, I have to take care even better than if it was mine. Since the school, you know?” Mourinho explained. “Your friend lent you a pencil, you have to take care of the pencil better than if it is your pencil, so I think when one day if I become a national team manager I will try [to].”
If you happen to have a pencil as a family heirloom, you know who you can send it to for safe keeping…