World Cup Press Review: Papers Disagree on Wayne Rooney's England Future

BR-UK StaffFeatured Columnist IVJune 15, 2014

MANAUS, BRAZIL - JUNE 14: Wayne Rooney of England gestures toward referee Bjorn Kuipers during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between England and Italy at Arena Amazonia on June 14, 2014 in Manaus, Brazil.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

With print deadlines making it impossible for Britain's newspapers to react instantly to England's 2-1 defeat to Italy late on Saturday evening, Monday's back pages opt instead to look ahead at the changes Roy Hodgson might make before the now-crucial meeting with Uruguay on Thursday.

All are in consensus that the key selection dilemma surrounds Wayne Rooney, who set up England's goal in Manaus but was otherwise disappointing in a relatively unfamiliar left-wing role. Unfortunately, the papers seem to disagree on how to deal with Rooney's current situation...

The Times plays things relatively straight and simple, noting that Rooney now fears for his starting place against Uruguay.

That is a sentiment also shared by The Guardian, which leads with Rooney's admission that he is not a "certain starter for crunch game."

The Independent deals with the same angle in a slightly different way, instead focusing on Rooney's assertion that he "works hard" for his England place and takes nothing for granted.

The Daily Mail's headline is more bullish: "Wayne: I could be axed."

As is the Daily Star's...

The Daily Express, meanwhile, goes for a more general splash than its rivals, stating that the Uruguay game is "do or die" for England but also that Rooney is "primed" to play.

This view, that Rooney will start against Uruguay, seems to be shared by a number of papers. In fact, The Sun claim that Rooney has even asked Hodgson to change formation to better suit his talents.

The Daily Mirror does not think Hodgson will go that far, but it is one paper to claim that Rooney will be moved into a central role for the Uruguay game in an attempt to better unlock his top form.

The idea of Rooney playing centrally is one supported by the Daily Telegraph, which go for a different approach to many of their rivals, leading on the chief writer Henry Winter's assertion that Rooney must be respected and England must stick with him.

This seems the most probable course of action for Hodgson; after all, amid all this talk of dropping Rooney, no one has offered a real suggestion about who could replace him in the starting lineup.

Except The Sun, that is, which splash on their front page a potential new star for the England team…