Sturridge or Rooney? A simple question which may seem irrelevant to many England fans because the chances are Roy Hodgson will end up starting both Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney for the majority of games this World Cup, but is that necessarily a good idea?
There is no getting away from the fact that both of these England forwards best position is playing as a number nine. Meaning, to incorporate them both Roy would have to play with two strikers in that much frowned upon (In England anyway) 4-4-2 formation.
Yes there are other ways to incorporate both players into the team. Perhaps playing the Rooney in the number ten position with Sturridge in front or one of them playing as an unorthodox wide man, but none of these solutions benefit the team in anyway. Firstly it disrupts the balance and secondly it has a negative effect on players like Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley who are seeing these two strikers playing in their position.
The England manager must make a decision. Both players have different skills which they bring to the table, Rooney has experience and a proven international goal scoring track record whereas Sturridge has a no fear kind of attitude and is coming into the World Cup off the back of some decent club form.
At the end of the day the player who should start should be the man who best suits the style of play the England manager is trying to orchestrate.
If it was down to me; without any hesitation I would start Rooney at the Liverpool man’s expense. Rooney is in a similar situation to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi players who feel they have yet to produce their best at a World Cup.
By the time the next World Cup comes around Rooney will be 32 and the man who had the body of a 30-year-old when he was 16 could well have a body of a 40 year old when he’s 32 meaning this could be his last chance to grace a World Cup at the very peak of his powers. Deep down all England fans know that Wayne Rooney at his best is a frightening prospect for any defence.
My advice to Roy Hodgson would be start Wayne Rooney and leave Daniel Sturridge on the bench. England’s midfield is the real stand out feature of the squad. With the wealth of talent England have in midfield behind a determined striker on possibly his last swan song maybe just maybe this could be a great World Cup for Wayne Rooney and England.
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