Wayne Rooney put in a superb performance for England in a 1-1 draw with Russia to open their Euro 2016 campaign.
It was the first time the 30-year-old started in central midfield for England in a tournament but thanks to Russia sitting so deep he was afforded far too much space and time which he took full advantage of. He was dangerous with his shots, precise in his passes and showed, for one of the first time as far as I’m concerned, that maybe he can adapt into the Paul Scholes role.
Fans were certainly impressed with how Rooney played and had Igor Akinfeev not made an incredible save, he’d have grabbed a goal for his efforts as well.
A positive first 75 minutes, very positive. Rooney, Walker excellent. Lallana impressed me too. Sterling's final ball poor, Kane isolated.
— Harry Robinson (@HarryRobinson64) June 11, 2016
Wayne Rooney, in this kind of form, is massive plus to England’s chances of winning this. He’s one of the few leaders we have. #EURO2016
— Andrew Gaffney (@GaffneyVLC) June 11, 2016
Rooney's been the best player on the pitch and he's the one to come off for Wilshire. LvG must be in charge!
— Hêlîn (@MUnitedGirl) June 11, 2016
Rooney has been quality.
— Ball Street (@BallStreet) June 11, 2016
Rooney is playing where Paul Scholes ended up at United and he's doing the job well.
— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) June 11, 2016
When Rooney plays in midfield against a team who doesn’t play a pressing game he always enjoys himself, he always looks comfortable and that was the case against Russia. For me, I liked seeing him play a shorter passing game more often than he normally does because there’s a time and a place for a hollywood pass.
It’ll be a different and more intense game on Thursday when England play Wales and that’s a better marker for Rooney and whether midfield is a role he can truly adapt to. Credit where it is due though – Rooney was ace against Russia and set down a marker which he now needs to match in the other two games.