Bench Rooney: Demand England Fans After Scholes Comments

03 June 2014 09:09

After Rooney's Peru performance, fans buoyed by Scholes' comments demand Rooney not be given special treatment in Brazil.

Writing on his Paddy Power blog recently, Manchester United legend Paul Scholes pointed out Rooney had played a total of 8 World Cup matches and shockingly was yet to score a single goal.

Just before the weekend both Gerard and Hodgson leapt to his defence claiming Scholes to be "wrong."

Gerard said "I think he's been Manchester United's best player at home and in Europe. He's been in terrific form. I can only judge from my opinion but from what I've seen from his performances in the United team, his form has been really positive."

However "nil point" in World Cup goals is indefensible and impossible to sugarcoat.

Although Rooney played a pivotal role in ensuring England qualify for Brazil, the last two seasons have seen his goals dry up and the reality of facing Italy and Uruguay with a player whose club finished outside of Champions League qualification and in 7th place is making fans nervous.

Adding to Rooney's woeful tally, Scholes also added that it's likely he may be past his peak and require a modification in playing style. Scholes advised "He needs to use his energy more effectively now as he's a player who likes to be up upfront on his own and I don't think he's great with partnerships."

Knowing full well his shared wisdom would reach Hodgson, Scholes wrote "To get the very best from Wayne in Rio, the manager needs to tell him, 'Don't bother running back. Stay up top. Stay centre forward. Score goals. That's your job in my team'."

The timing of Scholes' comments spell double trouble for Wayne who is coming back from injury. His performance against Peru in Wembley on Friday evening in front of 83,000 fans caused mayhem on social media with many fans having seen enough.

This was after all against a team who according to the FIFA world ranking are in joint 42nd position with Cape Verde Islands, a minuscule island off the Senegalese coast who are most famous for a singer called Cesaria Evora.

Even the "axis of really bad football"; Iran, Venezuela and Armenia are higher up in the rankings than Peru.

He was heavily criticised by fans online for being: clumsy, ineffectual, a spent force and slow.

With younger English fans not old enough to have savoured Italia 90, patience with Wayne Rooney is wearing precariously thin. Bursting onto the scene 10 years ago Rooney was an international defender's nightmare, he was fearless, direct and lightening quick.

Fans are now demanding Hodgson picks a team on current form and not on reputation so England can have the best chance possible of progressing from a formidable group.

Clearly the nation is starting to want to feel the romance of the World Cup and reach the dizzy heights of a semi-final or a final.

But Rooney on current form will struggle. Against the top 5 EPL teams home and away during 2013/2014 season Wayne Rooney managed only "one goal."

Now that Sterling, Barkely and Oxlade-Chamberlain give England much needed pace, power and freshness, fans are being vocal in trying to persuade Roy Hodgson to show courage and bench Wayne Rooney if the team as a whole will benefit.

It is well known that Wayne Rooney is slow in coming back from injury, it takes several matches to reach the optimum fitness levels his natural game requires.

Ferguson confirmed this in his autobiography: "Whenever he was out for a few weeks with an injury, Wayne's fitness would drop quite quickly."

Unless Rooney is able to stem the flow of criticism that is being directed at him and perform against Honduras in Miami, Hodgson may have little choice but to bench his most senior player.

It must feel like "Ground Hog Day" for Wayne Rooney who has been here before. Starting another major tournament, with issues relating to fitness, injury and form.

The general consensus is Paul Scholes does not talk much, but when he does, you listen.

All eyes will be on Rooney to impress against Honduras in Miami and on Hodgson to bench him if he either doesn't perform or fails to look anything other than razor sharp.

So intense is the current scrutiny of Rooney that even Gary Lineker waded in insinuating the writing is already on the wall.

Lineker wrote on twitter Friday evening "Headline from this game is what does Roy do with Rooney?", "Now Sturridge is lead striker, where does he play him, if at all? Good problem."

The "if at all?", now that, says it all. So close to the World Cup and producing a Peru type of performance in Miami could see a seismic shift in trusting Rooney. Similarly, harsh criticism was also directed to Wilshere from Paul Scholes earlier in the year. However, rather than senior players or managers leaping to the defence of the Arsenal whizz, Wilshere picked up the phone and asked Paul Scholes for advice. Wilshere said after "If it had come from a rubbish player I could say 'what are you talking about?' But it came from Paul Scholes. So I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I spoke to him, he explained it a bit better and told me what he thought I should work on. For me he was the best English midfielder of all time." Advice can't help Rooney though, England need his goals, pace, and need him injury free and fit. Lets hope he can turn it around against Honduras and make it third time lucky at a World Cup tournament. If he can't Roy Hodgson should take huge encouragement from Michael Owen's 1998 World Cup in France. A team with young players who lack fear, might just come good and score a few wonder goals along the way. Come on England!

Source: DSG