He led the national team of England from the bench for five years, between 2001 and 2006, and someone could claim this gives him the right to have an opinion on how English fans and media treat their national team, and certain players in particular.
The treatment of Wayne Rooney told me something about the way England fans view the national team. He’s the record goalscorer for both Manchester United and England: you can’t argue with that
Sven-Goran Eriksson wrote in the Daily Mail, looking back on how today’s Everton captain was treated during his international career, which he put an end to last August, after scoring 53 goals in 119 games for the Three Lions.
If Rooney had been Italian, he would have been loved like Francesco Totti was at Roma. You don’t criticise Totti in Italy. There might have been reasons to, sometimes, but you don’t touch him
the Swede said, comparing England with Italy.
It isn’t like that with Wayne and England but I can tell you that he had to be dragged away from training because he loved to play and practice so much
Eriksson also said, adding
was Rooney appreciated as he might have been as an England player? Maybe not. You look at the way some of the big English players in the past, like Rooney and David Beckham, have been criticised and you have to ask: ‘What do you want these players to be?’