‘Can be a lot to take on’: Wayne Rooney on difficulties of being a captain
Former Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney opened up on the difficulties of leading a team and said that a good leader also helps his players in situations outside the field. The footballer further said that players expect their captains to voice out their concerns and complaints which can become a challenge for any player leading the team. “When players aren’t happy, they often go to the captain and you end up being the one to present complaints. That can lead to difficult conversations,” Rooney was quoted as saying by The Times.
“At one club I was asked to go and tell the manager his training sessions were not good enough. That’s not an easy one. ‘Excuse me, gaffer. The lads think your training’s s***,” he further recalled.
“It can be a lot to take on. You represent the players in meetings over the squad’s charity work and commercial activities. You talk to the PFA. During Covid, what captains have needed more than anything is to be there for their players,” the former England forward added.
“Captaining your country is a privilege but a challenge on a different scale to captaining a club,’ Rooney said. “You’re not with your players every day, the off-field commitments are huge -- and with England a significant duty is having to help negotiate the players’ commercial payments.
“It’s your responsibility to welcome new players and settle them into the squad. I always made sure I hung around the games room and coffee area a lot during the day, so I was there for players -- especially new ones -- to talk to.
“The media duties are more intense. You face the country’s leading journalists -- and not all of them think you should be captain,” he added.