Last night Wayne Rooney started out on the left, a position he notoriously doesn't enjoy playing. However today he confirmed (at least in public) that he is happy to play any position as long as he is playing for his country:
"I enjoy playing for my country whether it is left wing, right wing, midfield or up front," said Rooney.
"I am always proud to play for England and that won't change no matter where I am on the pitch."
Correct Mr Rooney, you have been taught well. However as we get closer to the World Cup the call for Roy Hodgson to drop him in favour of youthful exuberance gets louder and louder and rightfully so. He continuously fails to conjure any magic for his country and he has repeatedly failed at making a positive impact at major tournaments.
At one point he was guaranteed a starting spot, however now that guarantee becomes weaker and weaker, confirmed by Rooney himself:
"I don't think anyone is guaranteed a start in the team," he added. "It is down to the manager to pick the team and pick where he plays me. I am happy to play anywhere.
"It is a good squad so the manager will have some tough decisions."
The toughest question of them all must relate to Rooney and his place in this squad. I think it is only reasonable to suggest that Rooney is playing based on reputation. We frequently hear managers say he is capable of conjuring a magical moment at any point, however how many times has he done that in tournament football for England?
I would much prefer to see the likes of Lallana or Barkley play in behind Sturridge. Players who look to go forward when they get the ball, players who look to maintain the momentum of quick, accurate passing football. Yes they are both raw and both can be careless on the ball. I'd much rather that than Rooney who at the moment looks devoid of any confidence, any scoring touch (tap in's do not count) or any fitness.
Do the right thing Roy, sit Rooney against Italy.