Wayne Rooney’s presence in England’s national squad is unquestionably vital. His scoring record may seem subpar for a player of his caliber (28 in 74 appearances) compared to his club record, however, he is arguably England’s most important player this Euro and his two-game suspension leaves a big hole in their starting lineup.
Realistically, there is no one on England’s bench that can make up for his absence. This requires more then just one player to step up and make sure that they play their absolute best against every single opponent going their way.
Rooney’s Manchester united teammate, Danny Welbeck, would be a good choice for Roy Hodgson if he were to play a 4-5-1, with the up and comer playing in a lone striker role. Welbeck played well against Belgium, scoring the only goal that game with a chip over the goalkeeper.
Roy Hodgson doesn’t need to only introduce new players, he can encourage the experienced ones to step up their play and lead their team to European glory this summer. Steven Gerrard’s performances have been subpar this season for Liverpool. Granted, injuries played a big part in that, however, Gerrard is good to go for the Euro and England needs him more then ever with Rooney gone. Where Hodgson will play him is up for debate, but wherever he is on the pitch, he’ll certainly need to be a major influence when England lineup to play France tomorrow.
With Hodgson omitting Rio Ferdinand, there really seems to be a gulf in class with his selection of Martin Kelly to replace Gary Cahill. Safe to say, he’s not exactly the most known defender in England and Hodgson’s managerial credibility will be on the line with England’s defensive selections. Martin Kelly, as well as many youngsters need to give the performances of their lives in order to keep England’s chances alive this Euro.