The Norman Transcript

National Sports

June 17, 2014

Rooney’s role under scrutiny after World Cup loss

RIO DE JANEIRO — As so often with England, a setback on the pitch has provoked renewed scrutiny of Wayne Rooney’s contribution. Or lack of it.

For all the dynamism of England’s youngsters going forward in the 2-1 loss to Italy in their World Cup opener, Rooney’s lack of real influence on the game stood out in Manaus on Saturday.

Credit to the Manchester United striker for setting up England’s only goal, providing the cross for Daniel Sturridge to equalize, but three of his own shots all went off target.

Rooney was shunted out to the left wing initially in an unsuccessful attempt to allow Raheem Sterling to limit Andrea Pirlo’s impact, but cut a frustrated figure.

“Obviously we lost the game but I was involved in the game, could have scored, created the goal and felt I had an influence,” Rooney said.

But many in the game said Hodgson got it wrong, from Rooney’s former United teammate, Rio Ferdinand, to Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who both said Sunday that he should have been deployed as the center forward.

“There is always going to be one player with a big debate around, but I think it’s very harsh if people are going to criticize Rooney’s performance,” England coach Roy Hodgson said. “He certainly worked his socks off for us. It was particularly hot and humid.”

Although Rooney was outshone by younger, more exciting attacking players, Hodgson defended the player ahead of Thursday’s second Group D game against Uruguay.

“We want Wayne in the box and there’s no question we will get him in the box,” Hodgson said.

Would Hodgson dare to drop Rooney? Seeing a lineup without one of the Premier League’s best-paid players could galvanize Uruguay, but when it comes to tournaments the prodigy who set the 2004 European Championship alight has struggled to replicate that impact as an 18-year-old.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Pyrenees help leader Nibali, winner Rogers in Stage 16

    BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France — The Pyrenees on Tuesday lived up to their reputation for causing ups and downs at the Tour de France: A French rider climbed in the standings, an American went down, and an Australian rebounding from an ordeal ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Mountain stage rough on Yankee rider

    BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France — The Tour de France entered the Pyrenees on Tuesday for the first of three mountain stages that may well determine the final podium of this year’s race....

    July 23, 2014

  • Strong prefers not talking about a national title

    DALLAS — Charlie Strong riled up plenty of Texas fans during a statewide spring tour by saying the Longhorns wouldn’t be in the national championship game....

    July 23, 2014

  • TCU’s Fields investigated for alleged assault

    FORT WORTH, Texas — TCU suspended defensive end Devonte Fields on Tuesday pending the results of a police investigation into whether he punched a former girlfriend in the head and threatened her with a gun while shouting, “I should blast ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Sun Belt boss expresses faith in the ‘Power-5’

    NEW ORLEANS — The Sun Belt Conference’s 11 institutions are prepared to pay more to remain part of major college football, commissioner Karl Benson said Tuesday....

    July 23, 2014

  • Crunch time for Ryder Cup

    HOYLAKE, England — The end of the British Open means the Ryder Cup is getting closer, and there are a couple of regulars still not in the team. That starts with Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods....

    July 23, 2014

  • Sam excited about next phase of career

    ST. LOUIS — Now it starts to get intense for Michael Sam and the rest of the St. Louis Rams rookies....

    July 23, 2014

  • Rory McIlroy appears poised to be golf’s next big thing

    HOYLAKE, England — Golf has been looking for the next big star the last five years, and Rory McIlroy is the most obvious candidate....

    July 23, 2014

  • Yankees acquire Headley from Padres

    NEW YORK — Trying to boost one of the weakest lineups in the American League, the New York Yankees acquired third baseman Chase Headley from the San Diego Padres on Tuesday for rookie infielder Yangervis Solarte and minor league pitcher ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Rays get to Wainright, win sixth straight

    ST. LOUIS — Jake Odorizzi allowed two runs over 5 2-3 innings and Yunel Escobar highlighted a five-run fifth inning with a two-run double to lead the Tampa Bay Rays to a 7-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night....

    July 23, 2014