Ever since he burst onto the scene for Everton against Arsenal in 2002, Wayne Rooney has been seen as one of England's biggest talents.
It is true that his exploits for Manchester United have been crucial in the club winning four Premier League titles since his £30 million arrival ten years ago. His 216 goals and 113 assists in 442 games have made him a club legend and much is still expected from him to lift the Red Devils up from the lows of last season.
Rooney has shown his many outstanding attributes to his game over the years. His passing range, finishing, skill, pace and work rate have made him become one of the most well-known players in the world.
Despite his enormous potential that he has shown for his club sides, many will argue that his form for his country has not always been up to the high standards they would expect. After the defeat to Italy on Saturday night and with England's World Cup ambitions hanging by a thread, questions have been raised regarding Rooney's place in the team.
Manager Roy Hodgson preferred to start Rooney on the left side of midfield but, despite his brilliant assist for Daniel Sturridge's goal, the United man failed to add the creativity or finishing prowess that he has so often showed for his club side. Now in his third World Cup finals, Rooney is yet to get off the mark, while he has also attracted controversy - he was sent off in the 2006 quarter final against Portugal, and went on an infamous rant towards the camera about the boos from the England fans after the 0-0 draw to Algeria in 2010.
It will be a dilemma for Hodgson with Sturridge proving to be one of England's key players at the moment and young guns such as Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling impressing in both the warm up games and against Italy. Despite Rooney's England tally of 38 goals in 85 caps, competition for the no.10 role will be high and Hodgson will surely be contemplating wether or not he should start the player who is playing best in that role at the moment.
At the moment, Sterling and Barkley are willing to run at defences and make things happen, whereas we are not seeing enough of the same from Rooney. But we know that he can offer this. Many feel that he is being picked on reputation as a result of his form for Man United, but Rooney does not have long to deliver at a World Cup when England need him most.
Rooney’s work rate has never been a problem throughout his career, but England fans will be hoping this can translate into a notable goalscoring contribution. But for all the criticism he attracted after the Italy game, Rooney was often left exposed on the flank.
With the exclusion of the defensively solid Ashley Cole, Rooney did not have enough defensive cover from Leighton Baines and that meant he had to sacrifice himself much further back than he and England wanted to.
With Sterling producing a stellar performance against the Italians, Sturridge scoring regularly, it will be tough for Hodgson to put Rooney in any other position.
It is surely going to be a headache for Hodgson and it will be a crucial decision is determining whether or not England get out of a very tough group.
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