Joey Barton says 'sad' media want Wayne Rooney to fail for England

Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has blasted the media and claims they want Manchester United's Wayne Rooney to fail for England at the World Cup.

Debate has raged over the last few weeks about how best to utilise the Red Devils striker in Brazil, and Rooney started in an unfamiliar wide left position against Italy.

Some have argued that Rooney should be deployed centrally behind Daniel Sturridge, while some have suggested that the United star be dropped all together from the Three Lions side.

However, Barton has leapt to the defence of his fellow Liverpudlian, and criticised the media by claiming they want Rooney to stumble in his national colours in Brazil.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Barton said: "I think [Rooney's] feeling the media pressure. It seems that the media is kind of rounding on him a little bit and sort of almost want him to fail, which is quite sad when you think, we should all really be behind the national side.

"I've been as critical as anyone of England, and I've said before, I didn't think Wayne was world class, but that's from a place of actually caring. You want England to do well and you say what you're saying because you want things to be addressed and key failings in our approach to the game.

"And you hope that by raising awareness to it that people will address it, but when you get to the major tournament, you've just got to be positive because it's too late to do the work. If you haven't done the work at this stage then there's no point being negative about it.

"If we don't make it out the group and we don't get the result against Uruguay then I think the manager will be under pressure no doubt. There will be people in the England set-up who will be under pressure, and it's quite sad. Regardless of results, we should have a process in place, and it doesn't seem to be there."

England kicked off their campaign with a 2-1 defeat to Italy in Manaus and they meet Uruguay on Thursday in a crucial game, before finishing their group phase off with a clash with Costa Rica.

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