Frank Lampard launched an attack on the British press on Tuesday, saying the intense scrutiny of Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is counter-productive to England’s World Cup campaign. Rooney’s place in the starting 11 has been the subject of intense debate in the UK and the scrutiny only intensified after England’s 2-1 loss to Italy in its World Cup opener on Saturday.
England veteran Lampard, who did not play against Italy, noted, "There has been a fixation with one player in every World Cup I've been involved in.” The former Chelsea man remarked that the press should be focused on the team, rather than one player. "It's frustrating when you're in a team group and that happens. There is a fixation on one player and rather than a debate, it becomes an agenda so I think we need to drop the agenda and look at the team, whoever plays,” he said.
"Rooney is determined at every tournament. A lot of furore has been built up around him but I see the same Wayne. He wants to play well and give everything for the team. It's about a team performance,” he added. “We didn't win the other night, but the minute you start trying to focus on individuals again and again and again it can be detrimental. Behind closed doors, we're trying to win games."
England is currently third in Group D with zero points. It faces last-place Uruguay, also with zero points, in Sao Paulo on Thursday.