London - Wayne Rooney might not be an automatic choice in
Roy Hodgson's England starting line-up at the World Cup, according to former
club and country team mate Paul Scholes.
Attention inevitably focuses on Rooney every time England
appear at a major tournament and next month in Brazil will be no different as
the Manchester United forward looks to finally make an impact at a World Cup
having yet to score in two finals.
Rooney is expected to start England's opening Group D game
against Italy in tandem with Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge but with exciting
attacking talents such as Raheem Sterling, Ross Barkley and Adam Lallana all
providing options, Scholes believes Rooney will have to be on his toes.
"I'm not saying Wayne needs to be dropped but if his
form doesn't get up to scratch in the warm-ups, or in the first game of the
World Cup, it'll be interesting to see if the England management team has the
balls to make that decision," Scholes said in his column on betting
website Paddy Power.
"We have quality forwards in the squad this time. That
should give Wayne the competition he needs to spur him on a little more."
Rooney was disappointing in Germany in 2006, failing to
score in the tournament after recovering from a broken foot. He was also poor in
South Africa four years later, looking disgruntled and again failing to score.
"He's got a brilliant scoring record for his country
with 38 goals in 89 internationals, but he's played in eight World Cup games
without a goal," Scholes said.
"You expect more of him. If Wayne is going to be one of
the best footballers in the world, this World Cup is where he has to
Scholes said Rooney needs to concentrate on the
things he does best, rather than roam around the pitch wasting energy.
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