I think the Rodwell ship has sailed, Henry - pic.twitter.com/I0ln4sdTAZ— Back Page Football (@bpfootball) July 15, 2014
A collection of Britain’s top journalists have left Wayne Rooney out of their predicted England squads for the World Cup in 2018.
In a feature ran by the BBC Henry Winter, Phil McNulty, Oliver Kay, Martin Lipton and Daniel Taylor all suggested that the Manchester United star would no longer be in contention for the a starting place for the Three Lions.
In 2018 Rooney will be four years more experienced, but at the 32 he would be far past his best so it a surprise to see him unanimously excluded from the leading writers’ selections.
They all agreed that by this time Daniel Sturridge would have surpassed Rooney in the England striking pecking order, whilst many felt that the likes of Patrick Roberts at Fulham and Ross Barkley at Everton were likely to be picked ahead of him.
And it was further bad news for Manchester United’s English crop, with Phil Jones also only being included in one of the journalist’s predicted England line-ups.
Jones was once described by Sir Alex Ferguson as having the potential to be the one of the best players to ever play for United, but his progress has plateaued off recently and there is an erratic nature to his defending that will need to be eradicated before he can be confirmed as a world-class player.
That said, there is undoubtedly potential there and, at the age of 26, it would be rather surprising if he wasn’t part of the England team, as predicted.
Of the other more striking selections: Daniel Taylor believed that Nottingham Forest stopper Karl Darlow would have replaced Joe Hart by that time, whilst there was a place for Tottenham Hotspur prospect Joshua Onomah in Martin Lipton’s line-up. Henry Winter also found a spot for Jack Rodwell, despite the Manchester City star’s career faltering in recent times.