Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

F You Wanted a Plumber, Already Looks like Spelling Position? Ink Back to IT'S PLUMB CRAZY TO USE ROO AS A WIDE BOY ; TAKE IT AS RED FORTHRIGHT VIEWS FROM SPORTS EDITOR PETER SPENCER, CHRIS OSTICK AND NEIL LEIGH GOOD WEEK

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

F You Wanted a Plumber, Already Looks like Spelling Position? Ink Back to IT'S PLUMB CRAZY TO USE ROO AS A WIDE BOY ; TAKE IT AS RED FORTHRIGHT VIEWS FROM SPORTS EDITOR PETER SPENCER, CHRIS OSTICK AND NEIL LEIGH GOOD WEEK

Article excerpt

IF you wanted a plumber, would you instead employ a painter and decorator? Likewise, if you had toothache would you seek out the services of a chiropodist? And if you were Italy manager Cesare Prandelli, can you imagine asking mideld maestro Andrea Pirlo to ll in at right-back? ought not. It's arrant nonsense of the highest order.

So why, oh why, then did England think that deploying Wayne Rooney out on the left wing in their biggest match for four years was a bright idea? Love him or loathe him, there's no disputing Rooney's international pedigree in terms of goals with the United talisman just 11 goals away from equalling Sir Bobby Charlton as the ree Lions' all-time leading scorer.

But instead of letting him do what he does best, Roy Hodgson managed to muzzle his threat and hand the initiative to the Italians in a game which already looks like spelling the end of England's Brazilian adventure.

As is increasingly becoming the norm these days, Rooney has been lambasted as the scapegoat for England's 2-1 defeat and there's no doubt that he - along with left-back Leighton Baines, whose international credentials were painfully exposed in the jungle hothouse of Manuas - were jointly given the runaround by Italian duo Matteo Darmian and Antonio Candreva.

Just to rub salt in the English wounds, Darmian made his international debut TWO weeks ago yet he thrived on the biggest stage of all with both Italy's goals coming from their right "ank.

Rooney wasn't dropped but by being shifted out wide he may as well have been, given how uncomfortable he looked throughout, his peach of a pass for Daniel Sturridge's goal notwithstanding.

Haven't we learned our lesson of the folly of playing our best players out of position? ink back to Sven-Goran Eriksson's ba-ing decision to shift Paul Scholes out wide to accommodate the Steven Gerrard/Frank Lampard mideld axis, a tactic that eventually forced Scholes into premature international retirement.

Now Hodgson nds himself wrestling on the horns of the mother-of- all dilemmas ahead of ursday's crucial clash with Uruguay where another defeat will e(TM)ectively condemn England to an early exit. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.