The former West Brom boss elected to haul off Danny Welbeck an hour into the clash with the Azzurri, despite the fomre Everton striker failing to make an impact on the match.
And the Southampton legend believes that the 21-year-old posed more of an attacking threat and that Rooney should have been the player that was taken off.
“It was clear after 50 minutes Rooney wasn’t going to have any impact,” Le Tissier said according to The Sun.
“It was harsh on Danny Welbeck that he was the one taken off. He carried more of a threat. It was a coward’s decision.”
The Three Lions will now look to their qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup, which kicks off with a trip to Moldova on September 7th 2012.