Wayne Rooney has urged England manager Gareth Southgate to drop Spurs striker Harry Kane and Chelsea’s Mason Mount in their final World Cup group game against Wales. He insisted that England have a ‘good chance’ of going all the way to win the World Cup.
After a stunning start to the tournament in which they defeated Iran 6-2, the team and the fans were brought back down to earth after being outplayed in a 0-0 draw against the United States.
Despite the result, Southgate’s men have all but qualified for the knockout stages and only need to avoid a defeat by a four-goal difference against Wales to advance, but Rooney still wants the manager to shuffle up the team.
The former Manchester United man while writing in The Times, 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.
He concluded by asking England fans to remain calm. He insisted that England is in a strong position in the tournament at the moment, claiming that everyone would have taken four points in two games and the early qualification in the knockout stages if given the opportunity before the World Cup began.
He added that with a bit of luck with the draws in the knockout stages and during the games, England have enough quality to go all the way and win int.
‘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.’