Getty Images

Wayne Rooney wasn’t told he was dropped by England

Leave a comment

Wayne Rooney, the captain of England and Manchester United, was dropped from the Three Lions’ squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifier at Scotland and the friendly in France.

[ MORE: Tuchel out at Dortmund

We learned that last week, but England boss Gareth Southgate revealed on Tuesday that he didn’t call Rooney to discuss the reasons why his skipper and the all-time leading goalscorer was left out of the squad.

Asked if he had spoken to Rooney to tell him about being left out of a second-straight England squad following a season mostly spent on the bench at Manchester United, Southgate revealed there had been no talks.

“Not this time,” Southgate said. “In the end, there is only so many times you can speak about the situation. We’ve been very clear. I am very conscience from his point of view that it is a big story when you don’t select him. I want to do that in the right way. Equally, when we have had previous conversations, there’s no point in revisiting those at this stage.”

So, Rooney found out like the rest of us last week when the squad was announced. England’s all-time leading goalscorer (53 goals) and appearance holder for an outfield player (119 caps) didn’t warrant a heads up. There’s something not quite right about that.

Southgate added that Rooney’s international career “doesn’t have to be” over and that “there’s no way we would dismiss him” from future England rosters  but Rooney not playing regularly for United (just 15 starts in the PL this season) has been a huge reason why he’s no longer part of England’s plans.

For now, Rooney is on the outside looking in and until he can play regularly it will remain that way.

“From Wayne’s point of view he’s not played very much this season. Other people have come into the squad and done very well, in very good form,” Southgate said. “As far as I’m concerned it would appear Wayne has got some decisions to make across the summer regarding next season… I have no idea what the future is for Wayne at Manchester United, so it is very difficult for me to comment if he’s part of the plans there or not. We hope he is back playing regularly and playing well and he is a fantastic player to have in your squad.”

England have yet to name a captain for the upcoming squad with the likes of Joe Hart, Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling perhaps the leading contenders for the role, but there’s no doubt the biggest story regarding the Three Lions right now is Rooney’s future, and if he has one with the national team.

The upcoming World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park against England’s bitter rivals Scotland could see Marcus Rashford supporting Harry Kane in attack.

There may be no way back for Rooney who had previously stated his intention to retire from the international game following the 2018 World Cup in Russia next summer.

England have given him a pass for much of the last 12 months but now they can’t justify having him in the squad as a passenger.

Six Premier Leaguers named to Argentina, but no Icardi

Epsilon/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Argentina’s World Cup roster features a number of the usual suspects, particularly up front, but Serie A’s top goalscorer has been surprisingly left off the list of 23.

[ MORE: Belgium goes to World Cup without Nainggolan ]

Manager Jorge Sampaoli’s squad was made official on Monday, which includes the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain.

The Albiceleste won’t be taking Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi though, which has raised some questions about the decision.

Icardi led all scorers in Italy’s top flight this season, scoring 29 goals in 34 Serie A matches, while Paulo Dybala edged out the final striker spot in the Argentina squad.

Dybala is teammates with Higuain at Italian giants Juventus.

Meanwhile, six Premier League players were named into the South American nation’s squad, including goalkeepers Sergio Romero (Man United) and Willy Caballero (Chelsea), as well as Nicolas Otamendi (Man City), Marcos Rojo (Man United) and Manuel Lanzini (West Ham).

Men in Blazers POD: FA Cup recap, UCL final preview and more

Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Rog and Davo recap a spite-fueled, snear-filled, peak Phil Jones FA Cup Final, preview this weekend’s Champions League tilt between Liverpool and Real Madrid and eulogize Big Sam… gone the opposite of too soon. Plus, World Cup rosters and MLS.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

Subscribe to the podcast OR to update your iTunes subscriptions ]

Click here for the RSS feed ]

Long-term absentee Santi Cazorla will leave Arsenal

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Santi Cazorla hasn’t played a match for the Gunners since suffering a gruesome Achilles injury back in October 2016.

[ MORE: No World Cup for Spanish Chelsea trio ]

And unfortunately for the Spaniard, Cazorla won’t feature for Arsenal again after six years at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal released a statement on Monday revealing the veteran midfielder won’t return to the club in 2018/19, which isn’t unexpected given the extent of his injury.

In his time with the Gunners, Cazorla made 180 appearances in all competitions for the club, and helped Arsenal win two FA Cups.

Cazorla was also a member of the Spanish national team squads that won back-to-back UEFA EURO competitions in 2008 and 2012.

Wolfsburg keeps Bundesliga spot with playoff win

Twitter/@ADSportwereld
Leave a comment

Wolfsburg managed a 1-0 win (4-1 on aggregate) over Holstein Kiel on Monday in the second leg of its German promotion playoff as the Bundesliga side kept its place in the top flight.

Robin Knoche scored the game-winner in the second leg, which ensured Wolfsburg’s stay in the Bundesliga ahead of the 2017/18 season.

The hosts boasted a number of quality chances in the first half, including David Kinsombi’s close-range shot that tested Wolfsburg keeper Koen Casteels with a save, however, Holstein couldn’t break through.

U.S. Men’s National Team defender John Brooks went the full 90 minutes for Wolfsburg, after the 25-year-old made nine starts this season for the German side in league play.