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Wayne Rooney identifies the changes England need to make in attack

Wayne Rooney has detailed the changes that England need to make if they want to make a mark in th...

Wayne Rooney identifies the ch...

Wayne Rooney identifies the changes England need to make in attack

Wayne Rooney has detailed the changes that England need to make if they want to make a mark in their final group game against Czech Republic.

The Derby County manager and former England captain believes that changes in the final third need to come to get the best out of Phil Foden, who has not been as effective as for Manchester City.

There is one man in particular that Rooney believes can facilitate this, as he explains in his column with The Times.

Wayne Rooney on England

"Jack Grealish has to start. One thing we have seen, watching [Phil Foden] and Raheem Sterling in the two opening games, is how differently England and Manchester City play, and how difficult that makes it for Foden especially to adapt.

"City play in the final third. They keep possession there. And Foden is not a dribbler but a player who plays nice little passes and moves into good positions. At City, the movement of players around him enables it."


This is not the case with England, says Rooney, who was in situ at Wembley to watch England's 0-0 draw with Scotland.

"I watched Foden getting the ball, playing it to Reece James, not getting it back and nothing really happening. The ball would then go to the centre backs and out to the other side and the tempo was slow. I thought this might happen.

"Grealish commits defenders. You saw it in glimpses [on Friday]. What that game showed is that when you are against a side who are playing well defensively, in a good shape and hard to break down, you need players to commit the full backs. It makes a  massive difference, opening up gaps where other players can come in and play.

"The Czechs are similar in style to Scotland, even if they have a different formation, and I would use Sancho against them too. I would also play Dominic Calvert-Lewin up front with Harry Kane."

Rooney elaborated on why he feels Kane would benefit from having a partner in the Everton striker.


"Harry has been isolated — especially against Scotland where he had to play against three centre halves, which is always very difficult for a single striker. Calvert-Lewin could make a difference.


"He can run channels, occupy the centre backs, win headers and bring the crossing ability of someone like James into play. He could do for England what Olivier Giroud does for France, offering that different option. Kane could play more in the No 10 role he has started occupying for Spurs."

Overall, Rooney is calling for patience from England fans, and referenced his own career in relation to how to gee up the team.

"Around us there were fans booing the team. It reminded me of my time playing for England, when we were jeered on more than one occasion — and I can tell you it never helped any individual play better, nor helped the team.

"I think we, as a country and England supporters, have to get behind our players. Gareth Southgate and his players did not deserve to be booed on Friday. I know, 100 per cent, that they are giving everything to help England do well."

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England Foden Grealish Rooney