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England U21s -- Strength in depth

Tactics And Analysis Oct 17, 2014
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff
Jun 15, 2014

Scholes: Rooney must play up front

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

Former England midfielder Paul Scholes believes Roy Hodgson must use Wayne Rooney in a more central position in order to get the best out of him.

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Rooney, 28, played on the left during England's 2-1 defeat to Italy on Saturday, and was roundly criticised for his lack of influence.

The Manchester United striker set up Daniel Sturridge's goal for the Three Lions but was guilty of missing an excellent opportunity to equalise in the second half, while his overall performance did little to dampen calls from some fans and pundits for him to be dropped from Hodgson's starting line-up.

However, Scholes insists that the problem was not Rooney, but the position he was forced to occupy, with the ex-United midfielder urging Hodgson to start him up front in England's next Group D game against Uruguay.

Some fans and pundits have been clamouring for Wayne Rooney to be dropped from England's starting XI.

"The disappointing thing was not the way Wayne Rooney played but where he was played," Scholes wrote in his blog for Paddy Power

"I've previously said the best position for Wayne is centre forward. If you think about the contenders at the World Cup and goalscorers -- Holland play (Robin van Persie) in his best position, Brazil play Neymar where he wants to play, Argentina with (Lionel) Messi, Portugal with (Cristiano) Ronaldo.

"I don't blame Wayne one little bit but he was played in three different positions. He's without a doubt England's best goalscorer but he was played on the left, played on the right, then in the centre.

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"Where's the confidence in Wayne to say: 'You're our main player. You're our centre forward'? If he plays there, he scores goals.''

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