After England's defeat to Italy in their first match of the World Cup, a nation is left disappointed by a good performance which resulted in no points. We are also once again left frustrated by the performance of Wayne Rooney. Although he produced a good cross for Sturridge’s first half equaliser, he was arguably England’s worst performer on the night and the eventual Italy winner was equally down to him and Baines. He also missed England’s best chance to bring the game back to 2-2 when he missed the target for 8 yards continuing his record of 0 World Cup goals, Rooney’s performance was summed up when, taking a corner he mis-kicked and the ball never made it onto the pitch. However he did play the full 90 minutes and even got to play up front when Sturridge went off after 80 minutes.
When you look at the argument for starting Rooney it is quite simple, he is the top scorer for England in the entire 23 man squad, and Rooney’s fans will argue against him being dropped by claiming he is not being played in the right position, and I agree, left wing is the wrong position for him. From the 1st minute Wayne was drifting into a more central position and didn’t fulfill the role of helping out Leighton Baines defensively leading to Italy taking the lead for a second time, and this is a job that the likes of Lallana does so well. So if not left wing where does Roy play Wazza? Some may argue the number 10 role, sitting in behind the centre forward, the same position Raheem Sterling played. So does Roy Hodgson drop England’s best player against Italy or move him into a less influential position to accommodate England’s biggest under performer? I would say no. How about up front? Well having never scored in a World Cup before do we want to trust him with the role of a lone striker, especially considering that while he still waits for a World Cup goal it took Sturridge 37 minutes of World Cup football to get off the mark.
So what now for Wayne? In my opinion the bench. Another poor performance from him must give Hodgson the license to drop him against Uruguay without fear of backlash from the English public. With more than capable replacements on the bench in the form of Lallana and Barkley it would be wise to give the young players a chance to develop when our “experienced player” is under performing. The worry about rushing youth into the first team seems to be an excuse to start Rooney when we forget in Euro 2004 the teenage Wayne Rooney was England’s best player. Why can’t Barkley, Lallana and Sterling lead a creative, youthful pace-filled attack with the capacity to grow for the remainder of this tournament and World Cup’s and Euro’s still to come in these 20, 24 and 19 year olds careers?
Disagree? Does Wayne need another chance? Should we drop Sturridge or Sterling to better Rooney’s chance of a World Cup goal? Leave comments below.