Do England really “need” Wayne Rooney at this summer’s European Championship in France?
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While that’s clearly a question that will receive responses of polar opposite varieties — and has done for a decade now — it’s quite simply a waste of time and breath to debate, for England manager Roy Hodgson was come out in support of the Three Lions captain, who’s currently out with a knee injury, following Saturday’s 3-2 comeback victory over Germany.
That the victory was sparked by the likes of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy, a pair strikers who are currently in undoubtedly finer form then Rooney, as well as Dele Alli, who started the game playing the no. 10 role and showed once again the quality his club-and-country partnership with Kane can produce, will not affect Rooney’s England status, says Hodgson — quotes from the BBC:
“[Rooney] took us through a qualifying campaign where we had a complete success with 10 wins out out 10. It doesn’t please me too much that it is suggested now that the moment he is injured and doesn’t play he gets jettisoned in some way. He doesn’t deserve that.”
“When he comes back and is fit again he is going to be putting enormous pressure on these players, just like these players will be putting enormous pressure on him – and that is the situation we are looking forward to.”
Goals scored for club and country this season: Kane – 27; Vardy – 20; Rooney – 13
The 2015-16 season has seen Rooney struggle due to a variety of factors — injuries, as well as Louis Van Gaal‘s ever-lacking attacking nous, to name a couple — and it’s certainly true that Rooney’s lack of a “best” or “true” position makes him a difficult player around which to build a team — for club or country, it doesn’t really matter — but the fact remains he’s England’s captain, England’s most experienced big-tournament player, and England’s all-time leading goalscorer.
To not take a player with that kind of resume, having only just crossed into his 30s, would truly be one of the most ludicrous things an international manager could do, no matter the next wave of talent you might feel you’re ushering along. Even if he’s just your “secret weapon” off the bench, a player like
Donovan Rooney has massive value to his team at a major tournament.
England actually have a slim-to-decent chance of winning EURO 2016 with a fit and in-form — don’t laugh, it’s true — but they won’t go anywhere leaning on Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Theo Walcott, Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka as the squad’s most experienced tournament players.