Yesterday’s revelation that England captain Wayne Rooney will be dropped to the bench for tonight’s qualifier against Slovenia has had seismic effects on the betting market, and not just on Gareth Southgate’s ‘interesting’ factor.
Rooney has found life tough of late after also being banished to his club’s bench recently by Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, following a string of sub-par performances.
In response to the news, Paddy Power priced up the likelihood of Rooney retiring from international football this calendar year at long shot odds of 33/1.
Within a couple of hours, though, traders were forced to slash that into 6/1 after taking thousands of pounds in stakes on it – and the price was then HALVED to 3/1 as bets continued to fly in.
Rooney became his country’s top scorer of all time (as everyone keeps reminding us) last September, netting his historic 50th goal for his country from the penalty spot in the home European qualifier against Switzerland.
Three further goals – his last being in England’s shambolic knockout tie against Iceland at Euro 2016 – followed, leaving his current international tally on 53.
To his credit Rooney took the news graciously at a news conference yesterday evening admitting his game was in a “difficult period”.
Once this international window ends Rooney may decide his time with the country he’s served with distinction is up and he may choose to fully focus his energies on getting back into the Man United line-up.
When asked about Rooney’s England situation spokesperson Paddy Power said: “Rooney’s been on the ‘Wayne’ for a long time, but for this story to develop so suddenly is surprising.
“We all thought he had his victory lap of Russia 2018, but these betting patterns point to an earlier end for an international career that was so brilliant – albeit only for one summer, a very long time ago.”