England’s long-standing forward Wayne Rooney is possibly the most ‘marmite’ player the Three Lions have, people either love him or hate him. He’s enjoyed massive success with the national team, but can he still be dubbed with the likes of Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi as a world class striker, or has he gone backwards?
With the 2014 World Cup set for kick-off this weekend, England will face tricky competition against the Latins – the likes of Argentina, Brazil, and Spain – and that’s providing they get past Uruguay and Italy in the early group stage.
Formidable world class forwards such as Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Luis Suarez and Diego Costa will bring forth their fancy footwork, pace and finishing accuracy, and are hot favourites to lead the goal-scorers of the World Cup.
If you look at our England frontline, we have Daniel Sturridge, who has been exceptional for Liverpool this season.
Second highest goal scorer in the Premier League behind Reds strike partner Luis Suarez asserts the 24-year-old as the most prolific English top flight striker, and an unquestionable talent.
It would not be unjustified to assume Sturridge would be Roy Hodgson’s natural first choice forward during the World Cup tournament.
But what about Wayne Rooney?
At just 28, the Manchester United favourite is already considered something of an England legend, having already racked up 91 caps for his national team, which is quite remarkable.
His last season at Man United has appeared something of a mixed bag. A total of 17 Premier League goals is nothing to be sniffed at, but many football spectators are of the opinion the player is past his best, and are not at all confident his form for the national team will be a vast improvement on that for his club.
One supporter of Rooney is former Chelsea striker Kerry Dixon, who thinks the Red Devil is the key to England’s success, and if he does not perform well it will cause problems for the Three Lions in Brazil.
He told Football Express News: “If England do well this World Cup, I think we will see Rooney emerge as the star and main goal-scorer. If he doesn’t perform well, we could be in trouble.”
Alan Hudson, who is also an ex-Chelsea man, disagrees:
“Rooney isn’t the answer, he’s not the player he was two or three years ago. He used to be considered world class but can’t be relied on to score goals now. He’s gone backwards.
“Daniel Sturridge is the best chance we’ve got,” he added.
I would like to see world class goal-scoring talent emerge for England this summer but I don’t feel it will be in the form of Rooney. I’m inclined to agree with Hudson, if we have a star, my money is on Sturridge.