Whilst the majority of those within the English footballing community remain sufficiently hyped for Euro 2016 and all that the enticing international scene has to offer, let’s face it, very few of us actually expect the Three Lions to thrive at the tournament, regardless of how well Roy Hodgson’s side took to the entire qualification process.
Current England and Manchester United skipper, Wayne Rooney, nonetheless shone for his country during the run up to the Euros earlier on this season. But as the 2015/16 domestic campaign hasn’t exactly proven one to remember for the 30-year-old forward as of yet, perhaps the English national team aren’t in quite as desperate need for the former Everton man’s services as initial appearances first suggested.
Rooney has only seven league goals to his name this term, and could possibly enter the summer footballing period still bearing the hallmarks of a recent serious injury picked up last time out against Sam Allardyce’s determined Sunderland outfit.
So then, even though the presence of one of the most recognised team captains will nonetheless be expected in France, with all things fairly considered, do England really need Rooney this summer, or could Hodgson simply strike upon a more suitable formula without the current Old Trafford star on board?
Well, as the 30-year-old Manchester United striker has impressed only in fleeting moments for Louis van Gaal’s side in 2015/16, so perhaps he doesn’t deserve his almost guaranteed spot at Euro 2016 with the Three Lions after all.
Roy Hodgson has previously reiterated the importance of league form and how it should prove imperative to any subsequent call up to the England national side, but in the case of Rooney specifically, such an important analysis seemingly fails to apply…
Although the player in question remains the first choice skipper for his nation at this particular stage in the proceedings, he has looked distinctly short of form throughout large portions of the current league campaign. His efficiency in front of goal has all but diminished and his current Manchester United outfit have arguably proved to be one of the least entertaining teams across the entire Premier League if we’re all being honest with ourselves.
Rooney’s captaincy of the Three Lions can therefore be seen as a somewhat questionable suggestion at best. This is a team that have notoriously struggled upon the international scene for a number of consecutive years now, and although qualification proved rather straightforward in the end, such a notion has absolutely no bearing on how well England will present themselves at the competition.
In-fact, England have arguably been calling for a massive overhaul in personnel for quite some time now, but if the likes of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy are to really assert themselves up top for the Three Lions this summer – as they are certainly deserving of with their current league form – just where is Rooney supposed to fit in?
The Old Trafford favourite would seemingly have to displace either Raheem Sterling or Ross Barkley – the so-called shining lights of England’s future upon the international scene – in order to play out the attacking midfield role for Hodgson this summer, but as Watford’s Troy Deeney nonetheless pays witness to a greater goal and assist tally among the Premier League so far this season, the perception surrounding Wayne Rooney’s proposed importance among the Three Lions squad can certainly be seen in a slightly different light.
In the end, England simply aren’t as reliant on the 30-year-old’s presence at Euro 2016 as Roy Hodgson would like to make out. Several other emerging English stars have made themselves known across the 2015/16 campaign this year, offering yet another fresh beacon of hope for the Three Lions to possibly build an entirely new identity around should they so desire.
…Yet as the current England manager has nonetheless all but guaranteed Rooney’s expected slot at Euro 2016 this summer, despite the recent injury picked up by the Manchester United man. Any hopeful renaissance for England’s international hopes will likely have to take place after this summer’s hotly anticipated tournament is finally done and dusted – and Roy Hodgson has likely been told to pack his bags in rather unceremonious fashion…