Wayne Rooney - England Euro 2016 | Virgin Media
Was Rooney in midfield the right lineup choice?

Was Rooney in midfield the right lineup choice?

14/06/2016Sport

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It was not the result that England wanted - nor perhaps deserved - but despite the agonising last-minute denial of all three points against Russia on Saturday, there was a bright side.

Eric Dier's emergence as a genuine free-kick candidate was a surprising but welcome discovery, Spurs' full-backs Kyle Walker, and Danny Rose impressed once more and Wayne Rooney defied expectations by not totally flopping in central midfield.

The notion of England's 30-year-old skipper starting had been a source of concern for the press and England supporters alike over the last few months following an indifferent and injury-stricken campaign for Manchester United.

Rooney has always had the Steven Gerrard-esque tendency to spray long-range passes across the pitch. It's just usually his short passing, or rather his decision to completely ignore the simple option, that lets him down.

However, on Saturday night Rooney's varied range was apparent. Of his successful passes played to a white shirt, two led to shots on goal, the first of which came from an inch-perfect raking 60-yard pass to the frustrating Raheem Sterling after 13 minutes. In fact, no player on the pitch created more goalscoring chances than the Three Lions captain.

41% of fans put Wayne Rooney in midfield when choosing their starting XI’s using the Virgin Media Lineup Builder. Would you have done the same?

If there was one are for concern, though, it's that Hodgson clearly isn't convinced he can last the full last 90 minutes

But the fact that - in an unfortunate reversal of public opinion for the England boss - Hodgson's decision to replace Rooney with Jack Wilshere on 77 minutes is now being criticised signals the striker-turned-midfield-maestro's redemption and (fingers crossed) a key role against Wales this Thursday.

Should England continue with the 4-3-3 that Roy Hodgson clearly favours? 28.5% of you think not and selected the 4-3-1-2 formation opting for Harry Kane to partner Jamie Vardy in attack. Choose your England starting XI here using the Virgin Media Lineup Builder.