Should Wayne Rooney start for England? Stan Collymore comments

Rooney England

Whether or not Manchester United forward should start for England at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, over players from Liverpool

"There's an awful lot of clamour from England fans, understandably so, over whether the likes of Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling should start against Italy," wrote talkSPORT commentator Stan Collymore in his Bleacher Report column earlier today, Monday.

Should one of the younger Lions start a match at the FIFA World Cup tournament in Brazil this month then it could be at the expense of Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney, as some fans have argued that the 28-year-old's sub-par season does not warrant a first-team role over one of the exciting wonderkids at Roy Hodgson's disposal.

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, 24, may well spear-head the nation's attack as he has taken his prolific club-form to the international scene, as his opener against Peru testifies. Rooney, though, struck against Ecuador and could feature on the left of the three supporting forwards behind Sturridge.

The Three Lions' performance against Honduras, though, was "disappointing". Collymore said: "In terms of final-third creativity and exciting youngsters like those could make a difference in many peoples' eyes [it was disappointing]. Adam Lallana in particular has done well but James Milner is probably in Roy Hodgson's thinking for the opening match."

Collymore refutes any notion of Rooney not featuring from the off: "[He] is an absolute certainty to start, though he hasn't been great in the No. 10 role. Coming in off the left, he is clever enough to make it work and England have other options to play behind main striker Daniel Sturridge."

England kick-off their World Cup campaign on Saturday, June 14 in Manaus against four-time champions Italy. For Collymore it is not as much of a must-win situation as a must not lose.

"All coaches will be telling their players at the World Cup: don't lose the first game. There are only three group stage games, not much time to recover if you lose 2-0 or 3-0. That would be a disaster for England. For that reason, and the extreme conditions—it's likely to be 102 degrees in Manaus—we could see a very low-tempo, cautious first match.

"Later in the game, the pace of Sterling, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the like could help England turn a result in their favour."

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