Paper Review: Jack Wilshere Faces Backlash, Wayne Rooney Reveals Unhappiness
Two England internationals dominate the agenda in the sports pages on Thursday ahead of the crucial World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland.
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was involved in one of the long-running transfer sagas of the summer, with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho making a bid for the unsettled star, and the former Everton forward has now gone public on the reason why he was so unhappy at Old Trafford this summer.
Who else is making the headlines in Thursday's newspapers? Read on to find out more.
England Cricketer Kevin Pietersen Hits Back at Jack Wilshere English-Only Remark
England cricketer Kevin Pietersen has hit back at Jack Wilshere after the Arsenal star claimed only English players should play for the national team, report Ben Rumsby and Oliver Brown of the Daily Telegraph.
Pietersen, who was born in South Africa, has an English mother and qualified for inclusion in the national team after spending a four-year qualification period in county cricket.
Pietersen has since gone on to become one of England's greatest batsmen and used his Twitter feed, @KP24, to question Wilshere over his comments.
Pietersen used the examples of golfer Justin Rose, athlete Mo Farah and cyclist Chris Froome, none of whom were born in Great Britain, to underline his argument.
Wayne Rooney Reveals Midfield Role as Reason for Unhappiness at United
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney claims former manager Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to play him in midfield last season was the defining reason behind his unhappiness at the club during the summer, reports Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror among others.
The England international was the subject of interest from Chelsea after he demanded an apology from the club after Ferguson claimed he had made a transfer request, as Steve Bates of the Sunday People reported in June.
However, since settling those differences and being played in a more orthodox striking role under David Moyes this season, Rooney has rediscovered his form.
I know that last year wasn’t my best season.
But there were times when I was playing in different positions. I felt I didn’t really get that run of consistent games up front.
Sometimes when you’re not playing that position all the time, it’s difficult to adapt. Sometimes it happens.
I didn’t feel I got a consistent run of games up front. I actually felt when I played midfield I did okay, but I didn’t want to play there.
I’ve had no problem in the past playing out of position, but I felt I deserved the right to play in my position and that wasn’t happening.
Liverpool Defender Martin Skrtel Linked with Move to Zenit St. Petersburg
Skrtel joined the Reds from the Russian club in January 2008, but Zenit have put aside £16 million to bring the 28-year-old back when the transfer window reopens in January, according to the article.
Zenit were interested in buying Skrtel during the summer after the player appeared to slip down the Anfield pecking order, but the central defender has forced his way back into the first team this season.
Meanwhile, Liverpool and Arsenal are set to miss out on Galatasaray striker Burak Yilmaz in January as Chelsea prepare to offer Demba Ba in exchange for the player, reports Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express.
Cardiff City Manager Malky Mackay Position 'Undermined' After Shock Appointment
Alisher Apsalyamov, 23, will replace Cardiff manager Malky Mackay's trusted aide, Iain Moody, who has been put on gardening leave by the club, claims the report.
According to Cadden, Apsalyamov's previous job at the Cardiff City Stadium was painting the ground three months ago.
Mackay will not quit the Welsh club, claims Charlie Wyett of The Sun (subscription required), but Cardiff insist Tan did not ask the former Celtic defender to leave during a meeting on Tuesday.
Riath Al-Samarrai of the Daily Mail reports that Tan believes Cardiff should be in the top four of the Premier League after spending big during the summer, while Mackay is furious at being undermined by the owner.
Bits and Pieces: Ramires, Georgios Samaras, Brad Guzan, Michael Laudrup
Meanwhile, Ozil claims it is too early to say whether Arsenal can be considered genuine title prospects, according to The Sun (subscription required).
Chelsea enquired about the availability of Swansea manager Michael Laudrup before turning to Mourinho, reports Gareth Morgan of The Sun (subscription required).