Savage on Rooney: 'England are a better side when he's in it'

Wayne Rooney Euro 2012 England

Robbie Savage has defended Wayne Rooney after he came in for some criticism.

Former Welsh international Robbie Savage has defended Wayne Rooney in his Daily Mirror column.

Rooney has come in for some criticism lately ahead of England’s World Cup campaign, and there have been questions asked of England manager Roy Hodgson over whether he has what it takes to leave out the Manchester United forward.

But Savage has leapt to the defence of Rooney, saying that the 28-year-old is worth a lot to the current England side, even with the exciting youngsters they have at their disposal.

The Match of the Day pundit said: “England have not even landed in Brazil yet, but the scapegoating has started already.

“Wayne Rooney may not have set the world alight against Peru and found himself banished to the left wing against Ecuador, but I’ll tell you something for free: England are a better side when he’s in it.

“Anyone who suggests Roy Hodgson doesn’t need a striker who has scored 39 goals in 91 games, and will probably go on to break Bobby Charlton’s record of 49 goals, need a lie down in a darkened room.

“Lay off Rooney – he has not delivered in the last two World Cups, but he is a survivor of the ‘golden generation’ who is worth his weight in gold.”

Rooney has hit back at criticism himself and when he scored the equalising goal against Ecuador in the 2-2 friendly draw on Wednesday, it was clear that it meant a lot in order to try and silence some of the critics.

Paul Scholes suggested that Rooney’s best days may be behind him, but the striker seems to disagree. Though he may not have starred at the two World Cup’s he’s appeared at, Rooney is still a fine footballer and will have a point to prove in Brazil.

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