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Quick to judge

"Whenever any young players, not just United's, get a chance to represent their country, they are instantly judged as successes or failures with little regard for the fact that it must take time to become accustomed to the international game."

- Adam Marshall, ManUtd.com

19/10/2012 09:48, Report by Adam Marshall
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Blog: England expects

was effectively a defensive left-sided role in midfield for a large chunk of his performance.

It happens domestically too. Even Jonny Evans and Darren Fletcher, both mainstays for their home nations, had to endure criticism from some quarters after breaking into the United team. As did Darron Gibson, who has become a vital player for an Everton team competing towards the top of the table. It goes with the territory that players have to prove themselves at Old Trafford but the timeframe is even shorter for England and it's reached ludicrous proportions.

After any team performance that falls short, scapegoats are identified and phone-ins become a haven for this. Some callers admitted not even being able to watch the game due to work commitments but were still somehow able to pinpoint individuals who apparently weren't good enough to play at international level.

It's interesting that after one player conceded afterwards it was his mistake that cost England three points, even if Joe Hart was being rather harsh on himself, instead the post-mortem focuses on others and holds them responsible. Rooney, praised as 'Captain Fantastic' a few days earlier, keeps getting singled out and it looks as though it's something he must accept as the Three Lions' biggest name.

I'm sure Rooney's shoulders are probably broad enough to handle it but the fact that players still trying to make their mark at international level seem fair game for all manner of criticism is wrong and utterly counter-productive in my opinion.

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