Euro 2012 England: Why Roy Hodgson Shouldn't Play Wayne Rooney

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Euro 2012 England: Why Roy Hodgson Shouldn't Play Wayne Rooney
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Hear me out. Even though Wayne Rooney is currently England's best player and arguably their best striker since Alan Shearer, his involvement in the national side has not spawned the same success that Rooney enjoys with Manchester United.

With England's attacking combination of Andy Carroll and Danny Welbeck coming together against Sweden, perhaps Hodgson might not want to jeopardize England's current form with the inclusion of the internationally inconsistent Rooney.

To say Rooney is inconsistent on the international stage would be an understatement. Since 2010 the Manchester United striker has only managed to score three measly international goals in 17—yes, 17—appearances. Fernando Torres has already equaled that record in his last three matches.

The only time that Rooney has ever really proved himself on this stage was way back in 2004, when at 18 he became the youngest scorer in European Championship history. But that was eight years ago, and since then Rooney's record in international competition stands at seven matches, zero goals and one infamous red card.

Unable to take the pressure? Or just bad luck? Rooney undoubtedly has the ability to perform. He shows it almost every week for Manchester United, but on the big stage for his country, the No. 10 just doesn't play with the same tenacity. 

In fact, statistically England are better without the Liverpool-born striker. The Three Lions have won 66 percent of their games without Rooney, better than the 60 percent of wins with their No. 10, and surprisingly the Lions even do better in the goal department without Rooney, scoring an average of 2.15 goals per game without the striker and only scoring an average of 1.89 with the Man United star.

Should Rooney Start?

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This may be down to the fact that whenever Rooney plays for England, the media and the fans sees it as him carrying the team. Without the reliance on Rooney, England can finally play together as a team, as they won't feel like they're putting all the weight on just one person. 

Given this, and Rooney's poor disciplinary record (remember, there's a reason why he didn't play the first two games), perhaps Hodgson would be better off leaving the striker out of his next match for his involvement has more risks.

With England in good form, Hodgson won't want to risk anything stopping his team. But then again, he is Wayne Rooney and you wouldn't want to make him unhappy, as Alex Ferguson found out

I say that Hodgson should use Rooney as a super sub, putting in Carroll and Welbeck up front. What do you think? Let me know. 

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