The media have a lot to answer for when it comes to the failings of the England team. With regards to this particular World Cup, one person has been made the scapegoat - step forward Wayne Rooney.
The poor guy is the one player England possess who can be labelled 'World Class'. If he doesn’t score every game or have a stormer every game, the media write him off and demand that he be dropped straight away.
CUT ROONEY SOME SLACK
On the flip side, as soon as anybody has a good game, they are instantly hailed by the British media as “world class”. You need look no further than the adulation lavished on Andros Townsend after one qualifier, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after three-quarters of one friendly, or Raheem Sterling after half a World Cup match.
It is ridiculous. All of them are very good players and will be important players for England in years to come, but let us at least wait for them to perform consistently before we start praising them too much.
- Why are England always perceived to have failed? Part 1 of 5
- Why are England always perceived to have failed? Part 3 of 5
- Why are England always perceived to have failed? Part 4 of 5
- Why are England always perceived to have failed? Part 5 of 5
Back to Rooney though. The amount of stick he got following the Italy game, in which he provided a sublime assist for the equaliser, was shocking and thoroughly undeserved. He was criticised for not covering his defensive duties enough and helping out Leighton Baines.
That is one of the most absurd things I have ever heard. It would be like Brazil criticising Neymar for not defending. It isn’t his job! It isn’t his position! When you have a gem like Rooney, you play to his strengths.
HE WAS PLAYED OUT OF POSITION
You do not play him out of position and ask him to perform duties that are alien to him. Rooney should always play centrally, either as a No.10 or a No.9. He should never be shunted out wide on the flanks and asked to provide defensive assistance for the left back.
That job should be undertaken by the defensive midfielders. Oh, what’s that? England don’t have any? Then don’t play 4-2-3-1.
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