Wigan Athletic boss Warren Joyce has defended Wayne Rooney in the row over how footballers behave during their down-time, insisting ‘far worse’ happened in his day.
Rooney was forced to issue an unreserved apology following the publication of pictures of him at a wedding on Saturday night, 24 hours after England’s 3-0 victory over Scotland.
He found an unlikely ally in Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, who recalled the time he was caught on camera ‘a little drunk’ during his time in Germany.
And Latics boss Joyce – who’s worked at close quarters with Rooney over the past decade at Old Trafford – says the media reaction has been over the top.
“They’re all adults, aren’t they?” Joyce said.
“They’ll lead their own lives how they see fit, and they should be judged on what they do on the field.
“I heard Klopp mention what ex-players used to get up to that didn’t get out before Twitter and busy reporters, that never got anywhere near the public domain.
“There was far worse stuff going on when I was a player than goes on now, players are far more professional now.
“I was a boring one who didn’t do all that, but that’s becoming more and more the norm these days.
“You don’t realise how dedicated and how hard-working most of the players are nowadays.
“It’s almost bizarre what constitutes a story now.”
Joyce also believes the public image of Rooney being painted by some in recent days is grossly unfair.
“I’ve not read much about it to be honest, but I do know Wayne is a top player and a top pro,” Joyce revealed.
“He was brilliant with the young players at Manchester United off the field, in a lot of different ways, with charities and stuff. He certainly doesn’t need someone like me to stand up for him, that’s for sure.”
Joyce also laughed off reports of a ‘bust-up’ between himself and Dan Burn following the home defeat to Reading in his first game in charge.
“If that was a bust-up, I think I’ve probably had a thousand already this season - and the other clubs will be having them on a daily basis,” the Latics boss added.
“It was just normal football talk in a normal football dressing room.
“I’ve had a hell of a lot worse - at Manchester United even this season!
“If there had been, I probably wouldn’t tell you anyway if I’m being honest.
“It’s just normal things that happen within normal football dressing rooms.
“I’m surprised it’s a story. But then again I don’t really read Twitter or look at that sort of thing.
“I wasn’t really aware of it until it’s just been mentioned to me now.
“Maybe I should have a looked at Twitter more...although there might be a few things I don’t want to be seeing!”