Wayne Rooney has admitted he overruled former England manager Roy Hodgson by replacing Harry Kane on corner duty during Euro 2016.
Hodgson was criticised for a number of his tactical and selection decisions as his side failed in France, with one of the earliest debates centring around his main striker delivering dead balls rather than getting on the end of them.
Kane took all six corners in the opening game against Russia, only for Rooney to take over early in the second group match against Wales.
The watching Hodgson, who had defended his use of Kane, looked surprised and Rooney has revealed it was a call he felt the need to make as captain on the field. NaijaBet.com
New manager Sam Allardyce retained Rooney as skipper on Monday and has backed him to make decisions during matches — something he was certainly happy to do in Lens.
“Roy obviously decided for Harry to take corners. I felt at the time that he was the top goalscorer in the Premier League and he’s a big lad in the box,” said the Manchester United forward.
“It was Roy’s decision, but after the first game I don’t think Harry wanted to take the corners so I went and took them.
“I felt I probably should have taken them anyway. He’s probably better in the air than me and for the last season he had been scoring a lot of goals. So that was it really. I think players have the right to make decisions on the pitch. You make a decision on what you see on the pitch.
“Nothing was ever made of it. I don’t think Roy had an issue with that.”
Although England beat Wales, that was the last chance they had for bragging rights.
Chris Coleman’s side went on to top Group B and reach the semifinals, not to mention celebrate their neighbours’ last-16 exit at the hands of Iceland.
Social media footage of Wales players celebrating the result leaked out and while Rooney did not take offence to that, he suggested others in the squad may have taken it less phlegmatically.
“Because some of the England players are clubmates with some of the Wales players, for the lads who had club teammates jumping around to celebrate their failure, that was a bit disappointing for some of them,” he said.
“Not taken aback, I think a bit disappointed.
“Personally, I wasn’t really too fussed. I said before that during the tournament I’m not fussed what Wales or Ireland do in the tournament.
“If they do well good luck to them, if they don’t, I’m not really too bothered. I probably would have wanted them to go on and win it, as I would rather a British team did, but I didn’t lose any sleep when they got knocked out.”
Allardyce has pointedly kept his thoughts on the Euros to a minimum, preferring to draw a line under the recent past rather than dwell on the latest traumatic tournament.
But Rooney, a notable underperformer against Iceland, does not have that luxury.
Asked for his diagnosis of what went wrong, the 30-year-old said: “I think there was a big lack of concentration in the game. You can say Iceland are ranked wherever they are in world football, but at that level if you lose concentration you will get punished and that is what happened.
“I felt there was a lack of concentration and a lack of discipline in our shape during the game and that’s about it.
“We were confident we were going to win the game but we knew it would be a difficult game.
“I felt we chased the game too soon which meant we lost our shape too easily. I felt if we’d stuck to what we were doing and worn them down the goal might have come, but I felt we lost our shape and our discipline in the team and didn’t give ourselves as good a chance as we could have done.”