Wayne Rooney dropped to the bench for Leicester tie following week of speculation

The captain has been struggling with his form

BY Sinéad Farrell 10:00 Saturday 24 September 2016, 10:00 24 Sep 2016

Mike Egerton / EMPICS Sport

Jose Mourinho has benched Wayne Rooney for today's Premier League tie against Leicester, following comments that the captain's armband will not save the striker from being dropped.

Rooney's form has been on a steady decline in recent years and has just one goal from eight appearances from club country so far this season.

The option of playing Rooney in midfield where the 30-year-old lined out for England at the European Championships, was rejected by Mourinho at the outset of his appointment. And given Rooney's poor scoring return from his natural position, there are no other alternative spots for him in the starting team.

Responding to questions about his decision to leave Rooney out for the 12.30pm kick-off, Mourinho said:

"The last thing I want to do is hurt players. In a normal football media, in a normal football country I would say we have 23 players we have very important games and if Rooney doesn't play today he plays the next one.  In other circumstances it's just a normal decision. "

Mourinho previously said that Rooney has been emotionally shaken by the criticism being directed at him and points to England's World Cup qualifier against Slovakia as the turning point.

"Honestly, I think there was a Wayne before the Slovakia and England game and a Wayne after Slovakia and England. And I'm not blaming Sam [Allardyce], not at all. I'm blaming the people that after the England and Slovakia game who were, in my opinion, too strong with somebody that is a very important player in the history of English football, the captain of England, the record goalscorer, and who is almost has the record for most matches."

"I think it was too much but I still think, a big boy like he is, he has to face it in a strong way."

 

 

Off The Ball

Newsletter

The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week