In one of the toughest moments of Manchester United’s season, they turned to their captain Wayne Rooney, who answered the call and dragged United back into the game.
The question still remains though, can England call on Rooney in the same way United did in the FA Cup final?
With ten minutes to play at Wembley, Man United had fallen a goal behind and looked down and out against Crystal Palace. United’s most senior and creative players looked hapless in their attempts to turn the game around.
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It appeared that the cup was getting away from United, until their captain Rooney delivered an inspirational run from deep, driving past Palace players as if they weren't there, eventually striding into a position to deliver a cross for Juan Mata to level the score. The equaliser was scored by Mata however it was willfully crafted by Rooney.
Rooney has dug deep as United skipper and dragged them out of tough situations on countless occasions. If Roy Hodgson and England are in a similar predicament in France this summer, is there still enough faith in Rooney to lead England as he has done United.
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In response to Rooney’s goalscoring form earlier in the season, Hodgson claimed 'He's an important player, our captain and a player we need to depend upon for the Euros.’ Since then, however, the stock of Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane has skyrocketed, leaving England fans to question whether Rooney’s performances even warrant a starting place against Russia on June 11th.
In September, Rooney broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s 47-year record to become England’s top goalscorer. Despite this, his performances have often polarised the opinions of England fans, especially at tournaments; only six of Rooney’s fifty England goals have come at a major competition.
Four of Rooney’s six tournament goals came over ten years ago at Euro 2004, many England fans still believe that if Rooney hadn't picked up an injury against Portugal in the quarter-final, he would have led the Three Lions all the way to glory at that tournament.
Whether that is true we will never know, however one thing we can be sure of is if Rooney can recreate his form from that tournament - with an energetic youthful England side behind him - they can be a real threat in France this summer.
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