Are England better off without Rooney?


Last night saw the first England game under the leadership of Wayne Rooney – and bar Rooney, most impressed. Sterling and Sturridge looked good on and off the ball, Jack Wilshere made some good runs from deep, with Jordan Henderson also solid. Jon Stones was decent at right back, despite centre back being his prefered position – please Roy, let’s not turn him into another Phil Jones – who along with Rooney did not impress.

What summed up his performance was midway through the 2nd half, when he launched a long pass from inside the Norway half towards the wing, the other side of the pitch. Nobody was anywhere near it, and it went out for a goal kick. The only thing worse in the game was James Milners’ pass from central midfield to right wing, which flew out of play. He is another who offers very little. You would think he will not be around much longer.

Danny Welbeck replaced Wayne, and England looked much more threatening. There was good passing throughout the game, some of the younger players who have been trained in a more modern fashion than Rooney seemed to click yet Rooney did little, bar score the penalty which was won by Sterling. The problem is he will not be dropped simply because he is captain now. Someone like Gary Cahill would have been a better choice, with Rooney nearing his 30’s and the attacking unit threatening more without him.

Despite scoring over 40 goals now for England, he seems to be getting in on his reputation. His performances are substandard. Raheem Sterling would much better suit the number 10 role Rooney currently occupies, with someone like Welbeck or Jay Rodriguez ideal to fill the role on the left. Walcott and Chamberlain have the right hand side covered, and even then you have Andros Townsend and Nathan Redmond to come in too. With some younger players starting to come through, there are a few more I would like to see in the squad gaining experience – when you are playing the likes of San Marino, Estonia etc you might as well give them a chance to show what they can do. As mentioned it is about time Milner was dropped, and when fit the likes of Barkley and Lallana will fill his spot.

There is also an issue with the 4th striker – usually filled by someone like Rickie Lambert – I think it is time Saido Berahino is given a shot. He is doing very well for West Brom and the Under 21 team. Lambert is 30 and unlikely to get any football at Liverpool, so why persist with him? Here is the squad I would like to see during the European Championships:

GK: Hart, Forster, Foster

DF: P Jones, Baines, Shaw, Walker, Stones, Cahill, Jagielka, Chambers

MF: Chamberlain, Sterling, Henderson, Wilshere, Barkley, Lallana, Walcott, Rodriguez

FW: Sturridge, Welbeck, Rooney, Berahino

And from that in a 4-2-3-1 formation this would be the team:

Hart, Walker, Stones, Cahill, Shaw, Henderson, Wilshere, Chamberlain, Sterling, Lallana, Sturridge

The good thing about the three behind Sturridge is that they can all interchange and play all positions, making it a nightmare for defenders. Plenty of pace about the team, with Henderson and Wilshere providing a good base, as well as some excellent passing. A young back four with the exerience of Cahill – but the sooner they start playing together, the better they will play. Nathan Redmond could replace Walcott in the squad – who seems to be ruined after so many injuries. Even if you consider Rodriguez as a striker, Rooney could be dropped altogether.

With youth taking their place in a team being built for the future, should Rooney be dropped? Should he do a Shearer and retire whilst ahead, to concentrate on his club career? Has he had his time? That’s for Roy Hodgson to decide, and now captain, it seems he has.

What do you think about this subject? Should Rooney be dumped? Let us know!