So Wayne Rooney is now a midfield lynchpin apparently. He spent the latter part of last season playing in a deeper role for Manchester United and started the current European Championships in that position against Russia in England’s opening game. He has on occasion performed well playing in the middle of the park, he’s an intelligent footballer who can see a pass and deliver it, but for people to say he should play there for the foreseeable future of his career is folly for me. On Saturday he was praised for his performance and rightly so, but let’s be honest Russia hardly ever pressured him and he had all the time in the world to do what he does very well. My concern is when he is up against sides with decent midfielders who press and press and press, especially as he is not the most effective tackler and there is a question mark on whether he has the legs. In the game against Russia there was a 5-10 minute period in the second half where the opposition did step it up and he struggled. Personally his main position for me is now behind the front man, he can do the deeper role but only as a stop gap against teams that are not going to, or at least not going to get the opportunity to regularly, pressurize him. He most definitely should not be shoe-horned into the position if there are better alternatives, which on occasion it could be argued has happened for both club and country.
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