The problem is Roy, not Roo

After a typical England deflating defeat, the skeptics and social media trolls were straight on the case, looking where to point the blame..most of the blame, went unfairly on Wayne Rooney.

Needs to be played as a striker, now

Needs to be played as a striker, now

Before I lay my case for Rooney let me state the facts, Wayne Rooney is not a left midfielder, he is not an attacking midfielder and he is certainly not a ‘midfielder’ in any sense. You play him in either his best position, the number 9 role, or the number 10 role, where he is lethal in both. He IS our best player, so why play our best player out of position to suit Daniel Sturridge. Ask any defender in world football who they would rather not see in the number 9 role against them, the majority would say Wayne Rooney. That says it all to me.

Last night after the game I saw a lot of tweets saying ‘Henderson and Welbeck awful’. I do not know what game these people were watching, as these two were our best two players as well as Sterling. I’ve learned that there are two types of people who watch football, the one’s that only judge players by what they do with the ball, and there’s the people like myself who judge on ALL ROUND performance, movement off the ball as well as work rate and knowing what to do without the ball. Henderson completely outshone Gerrard in the midfield yet the so called pundits gave him no credit whatsoever, and to make it worse, Hodgson subbed both Welbeck and Henderson. Ridiculous.

Tactically, the whole system was wrong. Don’t blame Rooney, blame Hodgson. All game we sat off Italy and allowed Pirlo and De Rossi to dictate the game, even when we were losing we didn’t seem to want to but any sort of pressure on the Italians, and because of that we did not deserve to win and we were punished. That’s the managers fault completely, not the players. It was so similar to two years ago at the Euro’s and for Gerrard and Hodgson to come out and say we pushed and pushed is an insult to the fans in my opinion.

I also seen a lot of praise for Ross Barkley, and yes he played well and I would start him next game, but for the whole 20 minutes he was on, he made Rooney look bad due to the fact he did not do the job of the number 10 role, the role he was playing. Barkley was too high up near the front man and didn’t drop back to get the ball, which meant Rooney had to do all the work, as usual. I like Barkley, but he needs to learn fast how to play the number 10 role, and not leave all the work to the number 9.

There were a few positives, Sterling, Henderson and Welbeck all looked good, but let’s not get carried away, changes must be made for the Uruguay game. Here is the team I’d play:




JOHNSON                         CAHILL                        JAGIELKA                    SHAW


                                  HENDERSON                  GERRARD


         STERLING                          BARKLEY               WELBECK




As you can see I have dropped Baines and Sturridge. Baines is not the same player as he is for Everton, for me Ashley Cole should be there no doubt about it. But I think Luke Shaw is better defensively than Baines, which is why I have him ahead of the Evertonian. The Rooney/Sturridge battle for the number 9 role will cause many arguments, but no doubt about it, Rooney is our best player, play him in his best position and he might actually be able to do something. I know this won’t be the team, Hodgson will no doubt bottle it and stick with the same 11, hopefully we can progress, but playing Rooney in that midfield 3 is asking for trouble really.



Brazil edge past Croatia, Referee shocker?

Brazil got the 2014 World Cup underway last night with a less than convincing 3-1 victory against a very unlucky Croatian side.

world cup

Possibly the most under pressure side since the 1950 Brazilian squad, today’s Brazil went down to an early own goal by Marcelo after Croatia took advantage of the attacking minded Brazilian full back Dani Alves. Olic crossed in low and the ball deflected off the right foot of the Real Madrid left-back, leaving Julio Cesar with no chance.

Brazil were struggling to look like the side they were a year ago in the Confederations cup and when Neymar raised his arm to Luka Modric, it looked for all the world that he would be getting a very early bath. Instead, he got yellow and instantly rubbed salt into those Croatian wounds picking up the ball and firing past a very nervy looking Croatian goalkeeper to level the game at 1-1. From that moment you felt as though the pressure on this young mans shoulders had been lifted and the team started to play a lot better, but without really threatening the Croats goal.

In the second half Croatia started the better and had a few half chances through Olic and Jelavic but did not really test Cesar. Then after 71 minutes, controversy, Fred turns in the box and goes down under a challenge from Lovren. The referee points to the spot but on replay there is little evidence of any real contact, although Lovren does have his arms on the Brazilian forward. Neymar scores the resulting penalty and go 2-1 up. Not long after Croatia have a goal disallowed for a foul on the goalkeeper, again, leaving them feeling hard done by. Croatia try desperately to get the equaliser but in the 90th minutes, man of the match Oscar toe pokes home to give Brazil a 3-1 victory, which was not as easy as first expected.

Looking back at the game I don’t agree with all the criticism the referee got. Although he made a few wrong decisions from his angle it did look like Fred had been pulled back and I think a lot of referees would have made the same decision. But that’s over with now and Brazil done what was expected of them, they won the game and will look ahead to next weeks game against Mexico, where a win will more than likely see them through to the last 16. Today we have Mexico v Cameroon in the final group A match, and then at 8pm we will see a repeat of the 2010 final when Spain entertain Holland. Finally, at 11pm Chile take on Australia. Check out my predictions page to see what I think the outcome of all today’s games will be.