REUTERS: England coach Roy Hodgson can give Wayne Rooney ‘no guarantees’ that he will always pick him for the national team and said the current crop of forwards he has to choose from is the best he has seen during his tenure.
Manchester United forward Rooney will be awarded a golden boot by Sir Bobby Charlton before England’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Estonia on 9 October after overtaking him as the country’s leading scorer.
Rooney became the first England player to reach the 50-goal mark when he scored against Switzerland on 8 September but his club form has come under increasing scrutiny.
He went 11 Premier League games without a goal before ending the drought with his first league goal of the season in United’s 3-0 win over Sunderland last weekend.
Asked if the 29-year-old could lose his place in the England team if his form did not recover, Hodgson said: “That day hasn’t arrived and, with any luck, it won’t arrive ... but there are no guarantees.
“He would regard me as someone who is very false if I ever said to him, ‘Your place is guaranteed.’ I would be very upset if anyone asked me to give them a guarantee of a place.”
Liverpool striker Danny Ings has also been called up for the qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania (12 October), along with Rooney, Harry Kane, Theo Walcott and Jamie Vardy.
Daniel Sturridge misses out after recently returning from long-term injury.
“If you put Danny Welbeck into that list as well, who has done ever so well for us, I think our choice is enormously different to 2012, put it that way,” Hodgson said.
“If I cast my mind back, there seems to be so many more players now knocking on the door than there were four years ago, so that’s got to be very positive.”
Hodgson also invited Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish to train with the team after the 20-year-old decided to play for England rather than Republic of Ireland.
However, Villa manager Tim Sherwood refused to let Grealish go with the 20-year-old still waiting for FIFA to ratify the nationality decision.
“The idea was to show him St George’s Park and ... induct him into England ... but Tim made it clear that wasn’t a good idea as far as he was concerned and he needed the boy to do some more training because he missed pre-season.”