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World Cup: Rooney is England's big hope

The New Paper | Thursday, Jun 12, 2014

England's forward Wayne Rooney passes the ball during the international friendly football match between England and Peru at Wembley Stadium in north London on May 30, 2014. Rooney was named England captain on Aug 28.

There are concerns about the facilities, but you hope that will all be sorted out - there are some good teams going and some great players who are going to be there doing their best.

As at any World Cup, it'll be the same big-hitters playing to win - Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Spain, Italy - but that does not mean there won't be the odd shock when a team defend well.

The conditions will play a big part in it - that is why it will be very difficult for European teams. It is going to be vital for teams to play possession football if they are going to be successful.

There has been that trend for more counter-attacking football over the past few months, but the stats will tell you the more possession you have, the more chance you have of winning matches.

England will need my former Manchester United teammate Wayne Rooney to be on his game if they are to stand any chance of progressing.

EXPERIENCED

There has been that expectation of Wayne going into big tournaments and it has not happened, for one reason or another - but it is not for lack of effort.

There have been injuries and off-thefield stuff... in South Africa there was allegedly a lot of unrest in the camp.

Rooney is only 28, but he has got 89 caps to his name and is the third-most experienced squad member behind Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

He has not peaked at the right times at big tournaments.

He is not going into theWorld Cup on the back of a top season at Manchester United in terms of winning trophies.

But I think he has had a decent enough season himself, though, and it might actually help him. He might use that frustration he has had at United this year to the benefit of England.


This article was first published on June 10, 2014.
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