English Premiership

Hodgson apologises to Rooney

2014-10-08 20:45
Roy Hodgson (AFP)

London - England manager Roy Hodgson has said on Wednesday that he had apologised to captain Wayne Rooney regarding his casual comment about the Liverpool accent, saying the last thing he meant to do was cause any offence given his wife is also from the north-west city.

Last week's squad announcement for this week's Euro 2016 qualifiers with San Marino and Estonia saw Hodgson, much-mocked for his difficulty in saying the letter 'r' correctly, suggest Merseyside-born Manchester United striker Rooney would not be able to lecture a room full of people because of his "Liverpool accent".

Hodgson took issue with the manner in which a throwaway comment became a backpage headline in Britain's national press, although he was in a mood to play down the incident at a news conference on Wednesday ahead of Thursday's clash with San Marino at Wembley.

"I have to be very careful when talking about accents and the way people speak," Hodgson said with a laugh.

"It took years for me to realise I had a speech defect, but it was made very clear to me when I took the job that I had one.

"I have been aware of it ever since so I am the last person to discuss accents.

"Fortunately, I have got a guy alongside me (Rooney) who has been with me for a long time and he knows that in no way was it aimed at home or anyone from Liverpool.

"My wife is from Liverpool so that is the last thing I would be doing.

"I have actually apologised to him for the headline, but he was so gracious that he didn't even want the apology."

England, who opened their Group E campaign with a 2-0 win away to Switzerland last month, are widely expected to thrash a San Marino side who are 208th in FIFA's world rankings, joint-bottom with Bhutan.

San Marino have conceded 26 goals in their last four meetings with England and lost 5-0 on their last visit to Wembley, a World Cup qualifier in 2012.

But Hodgson tried to lower expectations by saying Wednesday: "We've played San Marino before and other teams like San Marino and as the years go by they do get better and better at getting some sort of results, at least in terms of not losing that heavily,".

"We were lucky to beat them heavily once in our last game (an 8-0 away win in March 2013) but I've got to say at no time in my talks with the players have we mentioned goals.

"I am telling the truth when I say it is all about performance, building on what I think was good in the last two games, making certain that we don't slip at all from those standards. Then the opponent is the opponent.

"We're not trying to play anything down, but we are not trying to suggest this will be a goal fest. It might, but it might not be because these games are difficult."

Meanwhile Rooney was equally pragmatic when asked about the chances of closing in on Bobby Charlton's all-time record of 49 England goals.

Rooney is currently three behind Jimmy Greaves's mark of 44 goals, scored in just 57 England appearances compared to Rooney's 41 in 97, and eight adrift of United great Charlton's international tally.

"Jimmy Greaves is there and if I can overtake him this week, in the coming weeks, the coming months (then) that would be great," said Rooney.

"It's not something going into the game (I'm) thinking: 'Oh, I've got to beat Jimmy Greaves' record to get close to Bobby Charlton'."

Read more on:    england  |  euro 2016  |  roy hodgson  |  wayne rooney  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Burnley v Stoke City, Turf Moor 21:45
Crystal Palace v Watford, Selhurst Park 22:00
Huddersfield Town v Chelsea, The John Smith's Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Swansea City v Manchester City, Liberty Stadium 21:45
Newcastle United v Everton, St. James' Park 21:45
Southampton v Leicester City, St. Mary's Stadium 21:45
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 22:00
West Ham United v Arsenal, London Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth, Old Trafford 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v West Ham United, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Newcastle United, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Southampton, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Huddersfield Town, Vicarage Road Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.