Wayne Rooney is emerging as the central figure in Roy Hodgson's England plans.

Rooney was absent on Saturday, resting a niggling injury, as England began the Hodgson era with a 1-0 win over Norway in Oslo. The Manchester United striker will also be missing on June 11 when England open their Euro 2012 campaign against France and when they look for their first win over Sweden in a competitive game since 1968.

But his influence remains huge. Hodgson let Ashley Young drift around target man Andy Carroll, which worked a treat as Young scored the winner. What Hodgson was thinking was that the formation suits Rooney to perfection. "Two strikers will be the way forward during my time with England because we have Wayne Rooney," said Hodgson.

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