During England’s game against Wales, Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney was used by Roy Hodgson as midfielder, a relatively unfamiliar position for the striker, but he performed unexpectedly well, so the manager is considering continuing with him in this position against Slovakia.
According to The Guardian, Rooney played in a position similar to Paul Scholes’ for the past few months at his club, proving that he can dominate contests from deep. However, he had never played as a midfielder for England, but Roy Hodgson convinced him to do it, playing alongside Dele Ali and Eric Dier.
“Everyone knows what Dele is about,” said Hodgson. “He is still young, he does some great things, and he loses it from time to time in situations when you might prefer him to keep it. Eric Dier has shown incredible maturity and goes from strength to strength. But the one who really deserves a pat on the back is Wayne Rooney.
Even though the game against Wales can’t be considered easy, it will be very interesting to see how Wayne Rooney will perform as midfielder against one of the elite teams of the tournament, as England is expected to advance to the later stages of Euro 2016.
“There is more competition for places at the front with what we’ve got, but I wouldn’t hesitate. At periods during the game against Wales we thought about swapping him and Adam Lallana over, which we could easily do.”
On Monday, against Slovakia, Rooney will most likely play as midfielder, alongside Eric Dier and Jack Wilshere, if Roy Hodgson decides that it’s better to rest Dele Alli. Daniel Sturridge is expected to replace Harry Kane up front, while Jamie Vardy could also be a part of the first eleven, after his equalizer against Wales.
“Get a good result against Slovakia and we have a good chance of finishing top. We are covering all the matches with our scouts, but my message to the players is simple: we need to go out and win this one against Slovakia as well,” Roy Hodgson concluded.