Roy Hodgson and Wayne Rooney Angry at 'Ridiculous' Monkey Joke Controversy

Matt CheethamCorrespondent IOctober 18, 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - MAY 31:  Manager Roy Hodgson of England talks with Wayne Rooney during training at the Urca Military Base on May 31, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
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Wayne Rooney has voiced his anger at the current race storm surrounding Roy Hodgson, as Darren Lewis writes in The Mirror.

Rooney, scorer of the vital first goal against Poland as England booked their ticket to the 2014 World Cup, labelled the current media furore "ridiculous" and showed his frustration that such a matter was already masking England's qualification.

As Lewis reports, the Manchester United man fumed:

It’s really annoying that something such as this should see the light of day.

All the lads know what type of guy Roy is and to try and pin some form of label on him is absolutely ridiculous.

Roy spoke to Andros (Townsend) straight away, who took no offence whatsoever.

Rooney is of course referring to Hodgson's half-time talk which included the joke "feed the monkey," urging his players to forget any tactical complexities and just pass to Townsend, who was in rampant form.

The phrase was popular at American space agency NASA and has no racial connotations, ironically poking fun at humans.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15:  England manager Roy Hodgson shakes hands with Andros Townsend of England as they qualify for the World Cup in Brazil after the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifying Group H match between England and Poland at Wembley Stadium on Oct
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Rooney's not the only player to leap to his manager's defence. Townsend himself issued his disbelief that this has become such a talking point, tweeting:

The fact the player at the centre of this story is so bewildered by its hype should quickly end the matter.

Having played so well in just his second start for England, Townsend is entitled to feel dismayed that the entire nation hasn't been lauding his efforts for the past few days.

The way he continually surged past Grzegorz Wojtkowiak and drew such attention from Poland's defence was the key behind England's win and ultimate qualification.

Hodgson also offered his own take on the matter to the Daily Mail, as Neil Ashton and Michael Henderson write.

England's manager claimed:

Joy is short-lived in this job. The players are as angry about this as I am.

We have just had a successful period and, although I wouldn’t suggest we intend to rest on our laurels, I think we have earned the right to enjoy the fruits of our labours. Instead we get this.

As with Townsend, Hodgson has indeed earned the right to bask in the public's affection for a short period. Such clear disgruntlement at the magnitude of this story doesn't reflect well on the unnamed player who allegedly revealed his offence.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15:  England players celebrate as they qualify for the World Cup in Brazil after the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifying Group H match between England and Poland at Wembley Stadium on October 15, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Mi
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

As many have now alluded to, including Joey Barton on Twitter, the bigger concern is the fact that this story was leaked to the media from the supposed sanctum of England's dressing room.

If Hodgson's squad are to have any hope of a successful World Cup, a united dressing room with respect and loyalty are basic first steps that must be accomplished.

Perhaps the only way for this matter to gain acceptable closure is for the affected player to outline exactly why he was offended. For Rooney and Hodgson, however, the matter should already be forgotten.