Collymore's World Cup Corner: On Wayne Rooney, Formidable France and Argentina

Stan CollymoreFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2014

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1. The Rooney debate rages on

Wayne Rooney provided a great run and assist for England's goal against Italy. It was a moment reminiscent of his Euro 2004 heroics—the way he drove forward and produced quality. He also had a great chance to win the game, but he didn't take it.


Whatever people are saying, Roy Hodgson will pick Rooney against Uruguay. And he'll continue starting him as long as he's manager of England.

Should he keep faith in Rooney? There's a strong argument he should go with pure pace and leave Rooney on the bench. If Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is fit, I'd be tempted to start him.

I do worry about England fullbacks Glen Johnson and Leighton Baines defensively. It might be that Oxlade-Chamberlain would provide better protection to Baines on the left.

As for Raheem Sterling, I felt his best contributions came from wide areas against Italy. With that in mind, I'd start him wide against Uruguay and leave the No. 10 duties for somebody else.

We should feel optimistic that England now have options in that area of the field. Sterling, Ross Barkley, Adam Lallana and others are giving Hodgson genuine choices. The future is bright.


2. France looking the real deal

France seem to have reacted remarkably well to losing Franck Ribery. They look a very cohesive unit with real harmony in the squad.

They're just getting on with it, as we saw in their impressive win against Honduras on Sunday.

PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL - JUNE 15: Karim Benzema of France celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group E match between France and Honduras at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 15, 2014 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. (Photo by
Vinicius Costa/Getty Images

We have to bear in mind that Honduras are one of the poorer sides at the World Cup, but if France gather some momentum, they'll be a team none of the big nations will fancy playing.

They have plenty of experience and a manager in Didier Deschamps who knows exactly what's he doing. I have the French as legitimate dark horses.


3. Win was all that mattered for Argentina 

Could Argentina be ready to pounce and break Brazilian hearts? They were a little disappointing against Bosnia-Herzegovina at the Maracana, but the most important thing was a win. They got that.

I would have taken a scrappy England win against Italy rather than them playing with attacking flair and losing.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 15: Pablo Zabaleta of Argentina gestures toward Senad Lulic of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F match between Argentina and Bosnia-Herzegovina at Maracana on June 15, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Pablo Zabaleta is my favourite player right now. He's great going forward, tearing up and down the flank and giving everything.

A below-par performance from Argentina still brought a win, and Lionel Messi got his World Cup going with a goal. Everything is going to plan for Argentina.