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Wayne Rooney draws criticism

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol believes that England deserved at least a draw from their valiant effort against Italy.

Former England captain Alan Shearer was critical of Wayne Rooney's performance as England went down to a 2-1 defeat in their opening Group D clash with Italy in Manaus, though current boss Roy Hodgson offered words of support for the forward.

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Rooney was deployed in a wide role that he has stated he does not enjoy playing in, missed a clear chance to draw England level in the second half, and was also guilty of delivering an awful corner that was sliced behind the Italian goal.

Social media sites and radio phone-in shows in England were flooded with fans calling for Rooney to be dropped for the next game against Uruguay in Sao Paulo on Thursday, and Shearer was also damning of the Manchester United player, who is yet to score at a World Cup finals.

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"Rooney had his chance and he failed to take it," he told the BBC. "At this level, in a World Cup, you only get maybe one chance in a game and you have to score. Balotelli had one chance, one goal.

"You see what happened with [Arjen] Robben and [Robin] van Persie when they get a chance [in the Netherlands' 5-1 win against Spain on Friday]. They scored. That is what you have to do at this level.

"Wayne might not get a better chance than he had in this game. He won't sleep when he looks back at it. You have got to score those chances.

"You can never criticise his work rate, he gives it everything he has. He was really uncomfortable on the left-hand side, even though he set up the goal for [Daniel] Sturridge brilliantly."

Wayne Rooney drew criticism for missed chances, but Roy Hodgson backed him for setting up England's goal.

Hodgson was quick to hit back at the criticism of Rooney, as he insisted he was satisfied with his display.

"I thought Wayne Rooney did very well and set up our goal," Hodgson told the BBC after the match. "We know he can play in different positions and he can be satisfied with his performance. We are looking for things to say if we say he didn't do well because I think we did."

Meanwhile, Shearer was far more complimentary about the display of Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling, who was England's stand-out performer against the Italians.

"Sterling was our man of the match, he gave us hope. He ran at them and they were scared of him," Shearer, who played and scored in the 1998 World Cup finals for England, said.

"Uruguay will have had a scout at this game and he will go back and tell their manager that you do not let Raheem Sterling get the ball and turn and run at you. If you let him do that, he will give you problems."

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