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The striker provided the assist for Daniel Sturridge's equaliser but was largely anonymous with mis-hit shots and poor set-piece deliveries capping off a forgettable night


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Wayne Rooney's critics for England grew further in Manaus as the striker struggled to assert himself on the left and, later, on the right of an attacking front four.

Paul Scholes exclusively told Goal ahead of the World Cup that the Three Lions must not rely on the Manchester United forward in Brazil, before suggesting that the 28-year-old is past his best.

Roy Hodgson dismissed the comments soon after but insisted that he was not afraid to drop Rooney if performances were not up to scratch.

So has Rooney's time come? He did, of course, assist Daniel Sturridge's equaliser on the night but his influence was largely nonexistant otherwise as England started their World Cup bid with a 2-1 loss.

Indeed, the striker could have equalised himself following Italy's second goal but flashed his shot wide when just six yards from goal.


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