Football

Wayne Rooney's England starting spot at serious threat should his poor league form continue

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Another international break is over, but what did we learn from England after two promising wins, albeit against weaker opponents?

Whilst fans and players alike revert their attention back to club matters, the question still remains: Does Wayne Rooney merit a starting spot in the England team next summer?

It seems almost absurd, having seen Rooney net his 50th international goal back in September, that he may no longer warrant a place in the Three Lions' starting XI.

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However, if Roy Hodgson were to pick the team on current form, many would argue that the Manchester United striker simply hasn't been good enough for his club to remain in the team.

Perhaps even more worryingly for the forward is the recent international form of Ross Barkley and Harry Kane. The 21-year-old Barkley was a pleasure to watch against both Estonia and Lithuania, topping off two mature displays with a magnificent goal against the latter.

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If Barkley's form was to continue in similar fashion, then surely Hodgson cannot afford to leave him out of the team. The same can be said for Tottenham striker Kane, who has three goals in six appearances for the national side.

If the 22-year-old can return to the sort of form he was showing last season, then there's little doubt that he'll be one of the first names on the team sheet come France in June. 

Despite the emerging talents of Barkley and Kane, it seems quite unlikely that Hodgson would be keen on the idea of leaving out his captain and talisman, especially when you look at Rooney's goalscoring record for England since he took charge in 2012.

The former Liverpool manager will have been worried by the 29-year-old's domestic dip in form, but there is no doubt that Rooney has been one of England's most reliable players, not only for Hodgson, but since he made his debut back in 2003 as a fresh-faced 17-year-old. 

Having said this, stranger things have happened in football. Perhaps, unlike in previous tournaments, Hodgson will take the attitude that players in form will be prioritised over any so-called 'favourites'.

If this is to be the case, then Rooney's place will almost certainly be in jeopardy unless he can vastly improve his form for United.

Most England fans will just want the best for the country at the upcoming Euro's, whether Rooney is in the team or not. For Hodgson, however, some tough choices will have to be made when England kick-off next summer in France. 

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Topics:
England Football
Manchester United
Football

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