The Wayne Rooney Conundrum:


Spain’s dominance on the international stage has affected the way football is taught, analysed and played. The implications of their style of play stretch a long way, international tactics are being changed as fans and Football Associations want their country to play the ‘Spain way’. Many teams have moved away from 4-4-2 formations, leaving them to be labled ‘dated’ and ‘old-fashioned’, instead they play a game of possession. Even Scotland’s style of play has seen a change since Spain started to collect silverware for fun. Yet there remains one country who’s overall possession at each tournament has gone down at every major tournament since 1996, who still play 4-4-2, a team which hoof the ball down the line – often out of play, this same team plays far to deep; we know them better as England.

In my opinion there is only one reason as to why England haven’t switched to a 4-3-3 formation, it’s quite simple if you think about it or should I say him. Wayne Rooney. If England switched to 4-3-3 where would he play, would he lead the line? We’ve tried that, as soon as we did questions were raised over his capability to do so, often straying into midfield leaving England without a target man. Would he play on the wing? Sir Alex Ferguson tried that at Manchester United he wasn’t quick enough and the self confessed smoker is still being criticised for not having the required stamina. And so immediately all the options have vanished. Does Hodgson have the balls to drop him? No other manager has had. But if we want to win an international trophy within the next eight years now is the time to do so.

There’s no doubting  26 year old’s ability; 4 Premier League titles, 2 League Cups, 3 Community Shields, 1 UEFA Champions League, 1 FIFA Club World Cup, 2 PFA Young Player of The Year Awards, 1 PFA Players Player of the Year Award, 2 PFA Fans Player of the Year Award, 3 Times on the PFA Team of the Year,  1 Football Writers Player of the Year, 3 Goal of the Season Awards and 1 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year Award. But there’s one very common denominator with all these awards, he won them at club level. So you may think, if he’s won all of these titles why doesn’t he fit in to an England team? The truth is, the Premier League is a boisterous league, filled with long ball teams and heavy score lines. This suits Wayne Rooney down to a tee. But it is the complete opposite of the way forward in International football.

Is it fair to drop him from the team just because the style of play doesn’t suit him? To that I would say yes, football is about the best combination of eleven players you can, not the best individuals but the best team. Who would play? If I was in Roy Hodgson’s shoes I would play an out and out striker up front like Daniel Stirridge and play with Adam Johnson on one side of him and a good passer of the ball in James Milner on the other side; the ‘Iniesta role’ if you like.

Is Roy brave enough? Or will we watch another out of touch England team crash out of the next tournament?

You can follow Joseph on Twitter @JosephPerry9

Introducing the neat little app that’ll pay you to view content tailored to your interests: are seeking new writers to join the team! If you’re passionate about football, drop us a line at “” to learn more.

Share this article

Read Joseph's thoughts on the past week in football every Saturday here at TiF. If that's too long to wait, then follow him on twitter @Josephperry9 to get his latest views.


  • Joe Blewett says:

    Great article! I think Hodgson should drop rooney from the england squad because, although he scored a cruical goal, his play on the ball was not up to scratch. Please check out my articles and comment!
    Follow me @Joey_Boy28

  • Jonny says:

    He would be wasted on the wing. But he would make a great creative attacking midfielder – think Lampard but WAY better. One problem is there are so few English players able to see the play the way Rooney does. Ronaldo and Rooney were almost telepathic and both must have loved playing with someone on the same wavelength.

    Also we’re missing a prolific English goalscorer. If we had one they could play in front of Rooney.

    And as the article says , we need a complete overhaul in terms of formation / tactics because this article is bang on saying we play way too deep and just hoof the ball – problem is English players do not have the talent to do much else unfortunately. Sad but true.

  • Oh dear says:

    So Rooney is the sole reason for england’s abject failure in football?. One of the worst article i’ve ever read, not suprise that fellow muppets have agreed with the author.

    England fail because the technical players are overlooked for headless chickens. Most managers appointed (mainly the english ones) lack any spine or tactical knowledge. You’re completely out of your depth for blaming england’s woes on Rooney. The problems lie deeper, DELUDED idiots like you is one of the many reasons why england will always fail. FOOL.

Comments are closed.