News Live Scores

Coppell defends under-fire Rooney: He's NOT finished!


EXCLUSIVE

Steve Coppell has leapt to the defence of under-fire England captain Wayne Rooney by insisting the Manchester United man is not finished yet.

Fans are right - Rooney is garbage

The 30-year-old has come in for criticism this season for his performances for club and country and was subjected to boos at the end of England’s 2-0 win over Malta on Saturday.

However, Coppell says that while Rooney is no longer the player he used to be, he still has plenty to give both for Jose Mourinho’s side and on the international scene.

"I don’t think Rooney is the key player he once was,” he told Goal. “But he is not finished. I think he still has something to contribute to Manchester United and England."

Southgate unhappy with Rooney boos

Coppell, who is currently manager of Kerala Blasters, also gave his view on Sam Allardyce’s departure from England after just 67 days and one game in charge of the Three Lions.

"I think it was unfortunate. Obviously, it was a case of entrapment by the newspaper,” he added.

“He says himself that it was an error of judgement and he is being punished for it. He has paid a hell of a price for that error."

Gareth Southgate picked up his first win as interim England manager against Malta at Wembley and Coppell, who managed him during their time together at Crystal Palace, says he hopes he can be a success in the role.

Mancini in attendance as England down Malta

"Gareth came through the system at Crystal Palace when I was a manager,” Coppell explained. “I knew him from about 14 years of age. He is Mr Sensible. He comes from a great family and is a lovely man.

“In fact, I spent a day with him recently watching England play cricket. He had said then that if the England manager post became available, he would be up for it. He’s got four games now in caretaker control and I think the FA wants him to do well. Gareth won’t bring controversy with him. I would love for him to do well.”

Coppell also gave his views on who England should turn to should Southgate fail to take the job permanently and feels Alan Pardew deserves to be considered.

"I signed him for £6.5k from Yeovil many years ago. He has done superbly well as a manager,” he said.

“He also would love to be the England manager and if Gareth doesn’t do well, Alan has a great chance."