Collymore's World Cup Corner: England Embarrassment, Rooney, Gerrard, Costa Rica

Stan CollymoreFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2014

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 19:  A dejected Wayne Rooney (L) and Steven Gerrard of England look on after being defeated by Uruguay 2-1 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Uruguay and England at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 19, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

1. Three Lions autopsy

We had the best preparation ever for a World Cup according to the Football Association. Roy Hodgson was calm; Wayne Rooney said the camp had been fantastic. I think that we're just not very good.

If I look at the makeup of the England team, I could give the forwards a seven out of 10 because some of their passing was OK. I'd have to give the midfielders—Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson—a five out of 10. But the back four just shipped goals and weren't good enough.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 19:  Steven Gerrard of England (R) looks dejected after a 2-1 defeat in  the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Uruguay and England at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 19, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Rose/G
Clive Rose/Getty Images

My favourite player of the last 10 years has been Gerrard. I think it's time for him to concentrate on Liverpool and the Champions League, and perhaps step away from England.

 

2. Replacing Gerrard's leadership

I think it stands to players like Jack Wilshere to lead the way. Jack's the kind of player in central midfield that I like a lot.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 30:  Jack Wilshere of England on the ball during the international friendly match between England and Peru at Wembley Stadium on May 30, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Paul Scholes recently criticised his play, of course, but he's the heir apparent in midfield. He plays for a big club at Arsenal; he plays regular Champions League football. He's got the confidence and the cockiness. It's time he stood up and took the place of Steven Gerrard.

It's what he promised in terms of development. Now he has to deliver and help England qualify for the 2016 European Championship in France.

 

3. The disappointing Wayne Rooney

I've always been desperately disappointed in Wayne Rooney.

I think he's an exceptional club player, and I think at international B or B+ grade, where he's playing the likes of Ukraine and Montenegro in qualification, he's excellent. But against elite-level European and world teams, he's never delivered.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 19:  A dejected Wayne Rooney of England looks on after being defeated by Uruguay 2-1 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Uruguay and England at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 19, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Ph
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

He shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, let alone Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. All of those guys deliver on the biggest stage with regularity.

For me, Rooney is B+ in terms of the world level and his world legacy. He's a very good international, but for me, he's not world class at all.

 

4. Tuesday's approach for Costa Rica

I would like to see Luke Shaw come in at left-back. I've said all along that Shaw is a much better defensive left-back than Leighton Baines.

I don't think you can make changes in central defence. To be perfectly honest, I don't think we have anyone better than Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka, who are very good club players but at international level have been found out. Glen Johnson also can't really lose his place because there's nobody to come in who's better.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JUNE 04:  Luke Shaw in action during the International friendly match between England and Ecuador at Sun Life Stadium on June 4, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Gerrard is the captain, and for the service he has given England, he deserves to perhaps have his final England appearance against Costa Rica.

I'd also bring in Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. I'd bring in Ross Barkley and Rickie Lambert. But Shaw without a doubt.

 

5. Leighton Baines vs. Luke Shaw

The problem was that Ashley Cole had played so many games for England, and Baines had been shadowing him for so long, that when Cole retired, everybody automatically said it had to be Baines replacing him.

What we didn't realise was that we had a better left-back in Luke Shaw who should have taken Cole's place. Sentiment got in the way for a lot of people, as Baines had waited so long for his opportunity. I disagree with that. You play the best man in the best position.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 19:  Leighton Baines of England in action during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Uruguay and England at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 19, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

I said before the World Cup that Shaw is our best left-back, and he'll go on and prove that over the next 10 years.