Wayne Rooney urges Gareth Southgate to DROP Mason Mount and Harry Kane for England’s final World Cup group game… as he insists they ‘have a good chance in Qatar’ but will need to play better than they did against the USA
Wayne Rooney has urged Gareth Southgate to leave out Harry Kane and Mason Mount from England‘s final group game of the World Cup, and insisted the Three Lions have a ‘good chance’ of winning the tournament.
Fans were brought down to earth on Friday as England followed their startling 6-2 win against Iran with a turgid 0-0 draw with the USA. Kane was particularly disappointing in the game and often found himself in unusually deep positions.
Southgate’s men have all but qualified for the knockout rounds already and only need to avoid defeat by more than four goals against Wales on Tuesday to make it through, but Rooney was still keen for the manager to make wholesale changes.
Wayne Rooney has called for Mason Mount and Harry Kane to be dropped for England vs Wales
Harry Kane was below his best in the Three Lions’ 0-0 draw with the USA on Friday
Writing in the Times, he said: ‘England’s performance was not great on Friday and there is no getting away from the fact that they will need to play a lot better to have a chance of winning this World Cup.
‘Gareth Southgate needs to make changes for Tuesday’s game with Wales and given that it would almost take a miracle not to qualify, it’s the perfect opportunity for him to give minutes to players who have not been used much so far.’
‘I know Mount did very well against Iran and that he gives you a lot in terms of work rate and energy, but sometimes you need to just let your flair players and your better footballers go and influence games.
‘My starting XI would have Foden on the left and Bukayo Saka competing with Raheem Sterling for a place on the right.
Rooney felt England have a ‘good chance’ in Qatar but will need to play ‘a lot better’
Rooney’s proposed team saw Jude Bellingham moving into a more advanced number 10 position with Jordan Henderson or Kalvin Phillips playing alongside Declan Rice in a holding role.
He also called for Callum Wilson to win his first start of the tournament ahead of Kane, adding: ‘Against the USA, [Kane] looked like he may have been suffering the effects of a heavy knock he took in the Iran game.’
England’s record scorer also proposed moving Jude Bellingham forward to play as a number 10
England’s record scorer did offer a message of hope for Three Lions fans, as he said: ‘My overall message to everyone who follows England? Keep calm.
‘Before the tournament, if you had offered England the chance to have four points after two games and be practically through to the knockout rounds, they would have taken it.
‘I think you still need a bit of luck, with draws and in individual games, but I do think England have still got a good chance in Qatar.’