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England would be foolish to drop Wayne Rooney from Euro 2016 plans

If there’s one thing England’s two friendlies in the past few days taught us, it’s that the Three Lions are praised just as much as they are derided. A thrilling comeback victory over world champions Germany sent the hype-train into overdrive. But this was quickly followed by a mellowing defeat to Netherlands – who haven’t even qualified for Euro 2016 – which put paid to England’s aspirations of European domination.

One person missing from England’s topsy-turvy few days was Wayne Rooney, who is recovering from his now customary injury before an international tournament. Jamie Vardy scored two in two and the sensational Harry Kane is now England’s first-choice striker,Jamie Vardy scored two in two and the sensational Harry Kane is now England’s first-choice striker, so is there place in the starting line-up or even in the squad for Wayne Rooney?

Usually most 23-man squads at major international tournaments carry four major strikers or forwards. Kane and Vardy are certainties while Danny Welbeck has an excellent international record and is a favourite of Roy Hodgson. This leaves the door open for one of either Daniel Sturridge or Rooney to fight for the fourth spot.

Unfortunately Rooney has always been the type of footballer to attract more criticism than he deserves. How the perennial underperformer Welbeck, an injury-prone Sturridge and the current flavour of the season Vardy are spoken of in the same breath as Rooney is a mystery. It is an abomination that Rooney’s place is even being questioned.

Wayne Rooney is the captain of England and has been playing a lot better for his country than club over the past few years. He might be a tumultuous and, at times, frustrating talent but Rooney is the only Englishman who can truly claim to be world class in the current set up.

Rooney, who worked as a television pundit during England’s friendlies, was all praise for his fellow strikers and welcomed the competition. He also claimed that his son asked him for an autographed Vardy jersey. Rooney’s son may sport a Vardy jersey during the Euros but it’s the man himself who will be England’s key in the flesh.

 

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