Wayne Rooney targets England players as he continues inquest into Euro 2024 Denmark showing… as he reveals he would have taken axed star to the tournament for ‘experience’

Wayne Rooney has turned his attention to England’s players as he continued his inquest into the Three Lions’ disappoointing performance against Denmark at Euro 2024.

Gareth Southgate’s side have received widespread criticism for a showing that saw them cling onto a 1-1 draw in their second match of the tournament in Germany on Thursday evening.

Harry Kane had opened the scoring for the pre-tournament favourties, but concerns after a narrow win over Serbia in the side’s opener were echoed after Morten Hjulmand’s strike earned Denmark the minimum they deserved.

The performance has left fans and pundits alike scratching their heads over what went wrong and how the pre-tournament favourites can improve their fortunes for the rest of the competition.

Speaking on BBC Sport, former Three Lions forward Rooney questioned the players, suggesting that the issues root deeper than the responsibilty of the manager.

Wayne Rooney has led the criticism of England’s players as he continued the inquest into their Euro 2024 showing against Denmark

The Three Lions struggled throughout the game and have received widespread criticism for their performance

The Three Lions struggled throughout the game and have received widespread criticism for their performance

Gareth Southgate has been questioned by Rooney suggested the players shoud look at themselves

Gareth Southgate has been questioned by Rooney suggested the players shoud look at themselves

‘I think it was a flat performance, there wasn’t energy or balance in the team,’ Rooney said. ‘I’m putting it on the players as well. If Harry Kane says he didn’t know what to do after the game… the players have to take responsibility.

‘I think for Gareth and Steve Holland I’m pretty sure they’re working on a gameplan. Gareth’s got a chance now to reassess, I hope he makes a couple of changes to get us back on the front foot.’

There have been a number of questions around the credentials of Southgate, who has struggled to get the best out of some of the best attacking talent in Europe including the likes of Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden and Kane.

Though he criticised the players, Southgate didn’t get away scot-free from Rooney’s analysis.

‘You can’t go into a major tournament and say you’re experimenting, that is a strong word to say,’ Rooney added. ‘If England don’t go far in this competition, [Southgate] might regret that.

‘When the squad was announced I wondered where do you fit Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden into the same team, and I think that’s shown. ‘For me, [Southgate] should be playing Bellingham a little bit deeper and give Foden the freedom.’

The new Plymouth Argyle manager also namechecked a player that had been left out of the tournament following a difficult run of form since leaving the Premier League.

England have missed leaders in the dressing room, Rooney said, as he suggested a former member of the leadership group should have been taken to Germany.

‘There’s a lack of experience in the team and voices, you need voices behind. I would have taken Jordan Henderson, he’s a voice,’ Rooney continued. ‘The lack of experience, for young players, especially when you go a goal up, you panic.’

He suggested that Jordan Henderson should have been taken the Germany for his 'experience'

He suggested that Jordan Henderson should have been taken the Germany for his ‘experience’

The former Liverpool captain missed out on a spot in the squad, with Southgate citing fitness issues as the reason

The former Liverpool captain missed out on a spot in the squad, with Southgate citing fitness issues as the reason

Henderson was denied a spot in the initial 33-man training squad, with Southgate ciitng his fitness as the reason for his absence.

The former Liverpool skipper has struggled for form since leaving Liverpool last summer, however, enduring a nightmare stint in the Saudi Pro League before moving to Ajax.

He made 81 appearances for England, but his international career now appears to be all but over. 

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