‘I would still pick Rooney’ – Wright

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Wayne Rooney has found the net in two of Everton’s three Premier League games

Wayne Rooney’s arrest for drink-driving should not impact upon his place in Everton’s starting line-up, says former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright.

Rooney, 31, has a court hearing on 18 September after being released on bail after the offence on 1 September.

Since re-joining his boyhood club this summer, Rooney has scored twice in three Premier League appearances.

“It’s crazy what he’s done,” Wright told BBC Radio 5 live. “The fact is he has started well and they need him.”

“I would play him. I can’t see what leaving him out of the team does.”

Rooney was charged with driving while over the prescribed limit by Cheshire Police after being stopped in the early hours of the morning in Wilmslow.

England’s leading international goalscorer has retired from national-team duty and his offence took place during the season’s first international break.

Alarm bells are ringing – Wright

Ian Wright wants to see more from Gareth Southgate’s midfield if England are to be ready for the 2018 World Cup

In debating the prospects of the national team, Wright said he feared little has changed since England were beaten by Iceland at the last-16 stage of Euro 2016.

Gareth Southgate’s side have not lost any of their eight competitive games since, winning six World Cup qualifiers to sit top of their group.

“We are nearly there and we are still nowhere really,” said Wright. “I don’t think we have come on a million miles since Iceland. We’ve not really come under any pressure. I’ve not seen anything up to now which makes me not worry.

“People keep saying we haven’t lost in qualifiers, it means nothing.”

Wright believes France will win next summer’s World Cup in Russia.

In analysing England’s latest qualifying wins over Malta and Slovakia he focused on the team’s midfield. Only Jordan Henderson and Dele Alli retained their places as Southgate made three changes to his five-man midfield between the two fixtures.

Wright said he was still looking for a midfielder “whose first thought is to look forward” when in possession.

“There will be teams we will play at the World Cup where we don’t have a lot of the ball,” added Wright.

“There will be times where we have to use it very efficiently. “We need someone who can get through the lines of teams. Alarm bells are ringing for me. What’s going to happen at the World Cup? What’s changed?”

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