Former England ace Stan Collymore feels that Wayne Rooney no longer has the ability to change games at the highest level on the international stage.
Despite some underwhelming performances for the Three Lions in recent major tournaments, the Manchester United star is still considered to be one of Roy Hodgson’s top players, and one that will be at the focal point of the team in a position just off of Daniel Sturridge in Brazil.
Rooney starred in England’s run to the competition, but some have questioned whether or not he should have such a key role in the coming weeks, with a number of young and talented options having made the 23-man squad.
Collymore is certainly in that camp, and he believes that the 28-year-old is no longer cut out to influence the biggest games:
“I’ve been saying it for about six months. Wayne Rooney is now seen as an experienced grinder that Hodgson can rely on. He runs around and has work rate. Wayne Rooney is not in this team to pull up trees and be the magical Messi, Ronaldo figure anymore, he’s gone. That Wayne Rooney no longer exists at international level I’m afraid to say.” He told talkSPORT.
Collymore also feels that the emerging players may actually be of more use than Rooney:
“Wayne Rooney’s role is probably a realistic point of contention and debate. He slows things down in the final third now, he doesn’t speed things up anymore. Barkley speeds things up, Wilshere speeds things up. Lallana does. Sterling does. I said the grinders will play for about 65 minutes then we’ll throw the kids on.”