'Rooney still our best player'

Former England midfielder Robert Lee believes Wayne Rooney is still the country's best player and the team should be built around him.

Last Updated: 17/06/14 at 14:57 Post Comment

Robert Lee: Believes Wayne Rooney is England's best player

Robert Lee: Believes Wayne Rooney is England's best player

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Rooney's place in Roy Hodgson’s team has fallen under heavy scrutiny, with youngsters Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley, along with Adam Lallana, all pushing for places among the forwards.

The 28-year-old Manchester United star bullishly declared he is ready for the World Cup ahead of England’s opener against Italy on Saturday, and former Newcastle man Lee has backed the forward to light up the tournament.

“I don’t care what anybody says, Rooney is our best player and this will be his World Cup. I think he’s ready for it,” he told Sky Sports' World Cup Verdict.

“He’s been criticised because of the way Manchester United have played last year but he did as well as he could in that team.

“He’s suffered because he’s so good. We’ve played him on the left, right and in the middle. Let’s put him in his best position and let him play.

“Lionel Messi is Argentina’s best player and they play him in the middle and build everything else around him – that’s what we should be doing with Rooney.”

Lee was joined on World Cup Verdict by Tony Gale on Friday, and the former West Ham defender agrees on Rooney’s quality.

Gale said: “He’s got a bit of genius about him and he’s such a good striker of the ball.

“If you want someone who is going to engage two central defenders, spending a lot of time up-front on his own, who is going to hold it better? I think that’s Rooney.

“But I actually think Roy will start him on the left-hand side against Italy.”

Gale and Lee also debated over who should start in midfield alongside Steven Gerrard when England open their Group D campaign in Manaus, and Gale believes it should be Arsenal's Jack Wilshere.

Gale said: “For me, it’s about who is the better passer of the football and that’s Jack Wilshere. I think he can dictate the tempo in midfield.”

Lee agrees Wilshere is a better player but believes Jordan Henderson should start in order to keep last season’s successful Liverpool vein running through England’s team.

“Jack is probably a better player than Jordan but he’s played so well with Gerrard this season I think he should play,” Lee said.

“Sometimes it’s not about the best individual players but the players that will make the best team.”

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

R

icky van Wolfswinkel's remarkable record of one goal from one game at least deserves an honourable mention. And I'm willing to bet that at least one of Costa, Ulloa or Enner Valencia will earn a place on the list by the end of the season. Probably not Costa

stevenjameshyde
Top Ten PL Strikers Who Started Like A Train...

I

will also give up birthday Christmas and bacon for this to happen

badwolf
Ronaldo return ‘in place’

P

lease let this happen. I'll have it as a birthday AND Christmas present if that will help.

de gea bar
Ronaldo return ‘in place’

Footer 365

Daley Blind backs Louis van Gaal's brutally honest approach at Manchester United

Daley Blind says Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal's brutally honest manner is good for team-building.

Premier League: West Ham come from behind twice at Hull City to earn 2-2 draw

West Ham twice came from behind to earn a battling 2-2 draw with Hull City in an entertaining clash at the KC Stadium.

Champions League: 'Arsenal have made some good signings', says Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp believes Arsenal made a number of strong summer signings and expects them to be tough opponents on Tuesday.

Mail Box

Forget it, Ronaldo Won't Come Back

A varied morning mailbox, with thoughts on Ronaldo, Daley Blind = Michael Carrick, Ed Woodward redemption, stick with Pardew, QPR's name change and marbles...

Woke Up This Morning Feeling Fine...

Man United fans are a more than a tad excited, Liverpool fans are a little depressed and we have mails on Mesut Ozil, Newcastle, Aston Villa and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property