Why Hodgson must build his England side around Sturridge not Rooney

Daniel Sturridge Liverpool

England manager Roy Hodgson must build his side around Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge at next month's World Cup.

Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney is considered to be the side's talisman, but after a superb season for the Reds, Daniel Sturridge enters the Brazil tournament with his confidence at an all-time high.

When the Liverpool forward made his move from Chelsea in January 2013, the perception was that Sturridge would be played out wide to compromise star striker Luis Suarez.

However, manager Brendan Rodgers had other ideas, and the £12million arrival has gone on to plunder 36 goals in 49 appearances for the Reds.

Such is Sturridge's influence at Anfield that Suarez, who himself bagged 31 goals last term, has been played out of position in an attempt to fully harness the predatory talents of his teammate.

The Uruguayan has occasionally been deployed wide right and left during certain games, while Sturridge has been asked to play the role of central striker in the colours of Liverpool.

During England's last friendly against Denmark in March, the Liverpool man was played wide left in an uncomfortable position, and Sturridge, despite his hard work, struggled to impact the game as he constantly had to track runners from the Dane's right.

Rooney was given the chance to operate up top, but it was the Liverpool man who eventually netted the late winner after being allowed to move to his more familiar position when the United man was withdrawn on the hour-mark for Danny Welbeck.

Despite United's disappointing season, Rooney still managed to net 17 goals last term, and the former Everton youngster is perhaps more versatile than his England colleague.

Rooney has a checkered history at international tournaments, having failed to reach the heights of his blistering Euro 2004 campaign, something he readily admitted recently.

And while the Red Devils star is undoubtedly one of the stars of the Three Lions squad, Hodgson would be better served persisting with Sturridge up top if the manager is looking to play just the one striker.

A recent report claimed that Hodgson was set to start both players in all three of England's warm-up games, but with the reliance on two strikers becoming more and more archaic in the modern game, it must be Sturridge who is deployed alone up front if that is to be the system favoured by the manager.

Rooney is still more than talented enough to thrive behind Sturridge, but the Liverpool star should be given the chance to show what he can do in Brazil, even if that means sacrificing England's number 10 somewhat.


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