Tottenham's Andros Townsend took the plaudits after England’s 4-1 victory over Montenegro in yesterdays must-win World Cup qualifier, but it was Manchester United's Wayne Rooney who showed that he is one of England’s genuine world class stars.
The Manchester United forward opened the scoring and was at the heart of everything England did well during a win that keeps qualification to Brazil next summer in our own hands.
Next up for England is their final match against Poland on Tuesday night. If Rooney can replicate last night’s performance, the Three Lions will surely win at Wembley with ease.
Rooney, wearing the now famous headband, pulled the strings yesterday and was at the heart of everything England did. His class shone throughout but, it was also his work rate that also caught the eye.
The 27-year-old is renown for that feisty, street fighter attitude that has come to characterise his game. He harries, pressures and eventually wins the ball back from defenders. He did all this and more Friday night.
The fact he made more tackles and interceptions than Gary Cahill and the same amount as Phil Jagielka – two of each – should not be put down to the visitors inability to attack, but more to do with Rooney’s endeavour.
That work was rewarded when Rooney put England ahead from six yards out. It wasn’t the most difficult chance he’ll ever get, but many a forward would have tried to hit that shot first time and ended up scuffing it wide. He didn’t - Rooney took two touches, one to set him and the other to score.
Rooney's attacking stats from yesterday’s game are also impressive. According to WhoScored.com he made five key passes – more than any player on either side and completed 40 of his 47 passes. In his role that is outstanding.
Considering Daniel Sturridge was ahead of him, it is somewhat surprising Rooney only played one through ball. Unsurprisingly though, it was accurate and he also had 100% accuracy from his four long balls.
The Manchester United forward is once again showing that he is world class, and long may he continue showing his ability in an England shirt. Bring on Poland.
image: © nasmac