Wayne Rooney – Get him on the England plane to Russia

Gareth Southgate are you reading this?


Wayne Rooney’s career has been mismanaged due to his sheer brilliance.

The versatility the 32-year-old possesses has resulted in him being played in a number of positions when his most valuable trait is, and always has been, scoring goals. Get him on a plane to Russia – he can be convinced.

Of course, there are people who cite Rooney as being mere baggage – old, not ‘on it’ and getting in the way of younger, better alternatives. If people think that there can’t be a space for Manchester United and England’s all-time top goalscorer, they’re seriously misinformed.

From announcing himself on the grandest stage when he put that worldie past Arsenal in 2002, to his hat-trick against Fenerbahce, Rooney’s always had ‘it’. And ‘it’ is what every single half-decent supposed wonderkid since has been expected to have, by a media-driven overappraisal of their talents.

Wayne Rooney for England against Russia at Euro 2016

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The Premier League is trying to import these kinds of players on an annual basis. They come from Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro and other luxurious locations all around the world. Wazza’s from Croxteth and has as much ability as any of them – even if there’s a natural depreciation of his talents.

England’s tournament pedigree hardly stands up against the big dogs anymore. In fact, those that followed have done almost everything possible to completely disintegrate Bobby Moore’s crowning glory. What they need is a mix of experience and ability. Wayne Rooney epitomises that.

Given the slower-paced nature of World Cup clashes, the Everton captain may even be fit to start games. If not, he should be considered a valuable substitute.

Last night’s hat-trick goal is as well as he’s ever stuck a ball, he said afterwards.

He’s not wrong, and he doesn’t lose that. That’s quality ticked. A Premier League hat-trick. That’s form ticked. A lack of natural leaders in the current England setup. That’s a void filled.

Also, considering his fractured fortunes in tournaments with his country, it’d make for one of ‘those’ narratives that it’s almost too obvious not to come true.

Is 35-year-old Jermaine Defoe a better option? Daniel Sturridge will have a hospital wing named after him by the time the plane leaves for Moscow and Marcus Rashford will have to be in bed by kick-off.

Everton are out of the Europa League – and in some fashion. Rooney’s likely to jet off to make some money in China or the US soon enough, so this may be the last chance the nation has to benefit from the archetypal ‘street footballer’. He looks like he’ll be the last of that generation.

But would he be bothered? Don’t be surprised.

He knows this would be his last World Cup and his body has been spared the taxation associated with European football.

Whatever about his own decision, the general public should be begging Wazza to not only go with England to Russia – but to lead them.

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What do you think?