Can Rooney Have A Storming World Cup And Shut Up Scholes?


As a player Paul Scholes went twenty years without saying boo to a goose. The midfielder would only do press interviews when it was absolutely required of him. Now that the thirty-nine year old has retired, he simply can’t seem to keep his mouth shut.

That has surprised most of us. But what surprised us more was just how cutting his criticisms have been. He hasn’t held back on various issues and has given the UK press plenty of good quotes in recent months.

His comments regarding Wayne Rooney were quite surprising. Both were teammates for almost a decade. Yet Scholes on the eve of the World Cup came out and questioned whether or not Wayne was past his peak and Paul also suggested that Roy Hodgson wasn’t strong enough to drop Rooney if he isn’t good enough in Brazil.

As you can imagine that didn’t sit well with Rooney, who has had to answer questions on the Scholes comments on various occasions as England prepare for their first game against Italy on Saturday.

To be fair to Wayne, he has shrugged off the comments and backed Hodgson. His comment regarding his time with Scholes as a teammate didn’t surprise me…

“He’s been a great player at Man United, but I’ve never had his phone number and he’s never had mine.” 

That is a dignified and measured response from Rooney and you have to give him credit for that.

Was Scholes right to have a go at England’s number ten? 

I question his timing to be honest (lets not forget its all for a big betting firm). It is nice and refreshing for a former player to come out and just say what he feels but lets not forget that Scholes’ United future seems to still be up in the air. Any potential coaching job may now be under serious threat, as Scholes has questioned United’s biggest marketing commodity. Also its never nice to see a former player be so vocal against a nation, the manager and the star player in the lead up to a tournament.


Scholes has moved on from Rooney and talked about Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling and the England style of play…

‘This could be just me, but how do England play football? I don’t know. It seems there’s speculation before every game about how we are going to approach the match tactically,’

“There is no point taking people like Raheem Sterling or Barkley to Brazil “for the experience”. Play them.”

Now this is quite an important observation… Is Scholes actually right in what he has said?

As I have said I may question his timing and motives, mainly due to the fact he was so quiet as a player. But I actually agree with most of what Paul Scholes says.

In the last two friendlies, Rooney looked out of sorts and failed to really make much of an impact. He has yet to show he can form a great partnership with Daniel Sturridge. I don’t believe Rooney is a world-class number ten or a great winger on the left.

At United, Rooney has been at his best when he is the focal point to the team. Once that dynamic gets unsettled with Cristiano Ronaldo, Robin van Persie or Daniel Sturridge, then you see a different Wayne Rooney. He doesn’t get the same amount of goals, work as hard or have as much of an impact. He withdraws. As a number ten he doesn’t drop deep to get into the game enough in tight matches. He seems reluctant to find space and use the ball efficiently. On the left wing I think Danny Welbeck gives the side more in terms of pace and discipline.

Against Ecuador and Honduras, England didn’t really work as a unit. Scholes is right, England don’t seem to have a set style and change things around too much. It seems like Roy Hodgson gets obsessed about the opposition, rather than develop a style that can suit England for a full tournament.

I don’t necessarily agree with Scholes that England should start with both Barkley and Sterling but one should definitely start and the other should be used as an impact sub. Maybe, if England get through the groups that could be revised depending on squad fitness.

I’d imagine Raheem Sterling would be in a better place to start. He had a terrific title run-in with Liverpool and seemed to work hard and added a spark that tilted games in Liverpool’s favour.

If you were to start with Ross Barkley then who drops out? For me, it would have to be Rooney. Barkley would be an ideal number ten and as I’ve already said Welbeck offers more on the left. Like Scholes I can’t see Roy coming into a World Cup and dropping Rooney.

I can see why Hodgson would be reluctant to drop him too. Rooney is still only twenty-eight, he has ninety-two caps and is the squads top-scorer with thirty-nine goals. So he offers a lot of experience, plus in the past he has been a player who can change games.

I have always felt a bit for Rooney. People’s expectations were always going to be hard to meet. The constant comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been unfair.

As a player I really like Wayne. He is a player that would give you his all. But is he a true world-class performer? Well he is touching world-class but there is a level he still hasn’t reached and probably won’t reach now.

He will certainly have a chance to shut Scholes up but if he struggles at yet another World Cup then you better believe the Paul Scholes will have the last word on his blog!

Only time will tell who is right and that time is almost upon us.

One Response to “Can Rooney Have A Storming World Cup And Shut Up Scholes?”

  1. As a soccer fan Rooney is my favorite English player after David Beckham. He is struggling in this world cup till now but I hope very soon he will come back with a good win for England.

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