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Is England and Manchester United star Wayne Rooney set for the bench in Brazil?

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The 3-0 win over a very poor Peru side probably told us nothing about England's chances of World Cup glory in Brazil

We were on hand to see the game, where in truth for the first 30 minutes England were pedestrian and the game forgettable.

The fact that Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge broke the deadlock with a very neat finish will do nothing to allay fears in the Wayne Rooney camp that he may be sacrificed in Brazil.

Boss Roy Hodgson has already gone on record to say that no one has a divine right to a starting place, even Rooney.

Being brutally honest Rooney's World Cup record is so dismal: eight barren games, spread over two tournaments, you'd start to think he can't deliver on the big stage.

Rooney has more red cards (one) than goals (none) in the global showpiece. To put it another way, he has 14 fewer World Cup goals than Miroslav Klose, an unexceptional talent with an extraordinary record on such stages. The overachieving German and the underachieving Englishman are opposites.

Because, while Rooney won't be billed alongside Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, the chances are he will begin the tournament in the bracket just below them. He has the profile of a superstar; a fleeting glimpse at the figures would suggest he is developing the statistics of one, too. So far he has struck 38 times in 89 games and the probability is that he will end his England career having beaten Peter Shilton's record of 125 caps and topped Bobby Charlton's national best of 49 goals.

But when the chips are down in the big games Rooney has been found wanting. Sturridge or for that matter Ricky Lambert - four years senior to Rooney yet with just a handful of caps- may have more to offer.

Rooney's long time team mate, Paul Scholes has this week suggested Rooney may be the sort of player that peaks early and that he might actually be in decline.

Rooney huffed and puffed against Peru but with England's last two goals coming from set piece corners Rooney fans were hard pressed to single out many goal scoring chances for their hero.

Hodgson had the luxury of two strikers against a poor Peru side but he may not be as bold against Italy in England's opening World Cup game and on current form Sturridge has to have a chance of starting.

JB

 

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