Does Wayne Rooney deserve to start?
Since returning from injury, Wayne Rooney has upped his game and has shown his versatility whilst playing in a number of positions. The Manchester United frontman has been deployed in a slightly deeper role in recent weeks and Rooney has looked fairly comfortable but will Roy Hodgson consider using the England captain in the same role?
Well first things first, will Rooney even start for England this summer? He certainly shouldn’t start upfront. Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy have both done enough to warrant a place in the starting line-up and the United forward shouldn’t be handed a place in the starting line-up purely because he is captain of the national side.
Rooney deserves to start, just not upfront. Hodgson should drop Wayne into his favoured ‘number 10’ role and allow him to play just behind Kane or Vardy. That way, Rooney can drop slightly deeper to pick up the ball and command proceedings. The United star recently claimed that he wants to mould his style on Paul Scholes and dropping slightly deeper will certainly see Rooney develop his ability to direct play.
Having said that, Rooney will still fancy his chances of adding to his record tally of 51 international goals for England. At the time of writing, the United stalwart is priced at 40/1 in Coral’s England odds for the competition and plenty of punters will be tempted, especially as Hodgson is extremely fond of Rooney and he’s likely to take set-pieces and penalties.
As of May 12th, you can get 9/1 in Coral’s England odds for the Three Lions to win the tournament and Rooney will play a key role if Hodgson’s men are to emerge victorious on July 10th. However, it won’t be easy. England face two tricky contests against Russia and Wales before a tie with Slovakia in St Etienne on June 20th.
And if recent performances at major tournaments are anything to go by, England may already be eliminated by the final game. If so, Hodgson should tinker with the side and start Rooney in central midfield. Would it affect the England Slovakia odds though? Most probably not as the United veteran is capable of adapting – no matter where he’s deployed.
On current form, it would be foolish to bench either Kane or Vardy for Rooney in attack, especially when he’s a competent ‘number 10’. If England want to win the competition, they have to play their best players. Rooney is still a top talent but the Three Lions cannot afford to play him too far forward – it’s number 10 or the bench for Waz...