Rooney should partner Lallana in midfield against Uruguay, says Hoddle

The former England manager believes Roy Hodgson should use the Manchester United forward in midfield, with Liverpool's Raheem Sterling on the left flank on Thursday
Glenn Hoddle believes Wayne Rooney should be played in a central midfield role for England’s crucial World Cup fixture against Uruguay on Thursday.

Roy Hodgson’s side are in need of a win after being beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening Group D match, while Uruguay are also without a point following a 3-1 defeat against Costa Rica.

Rooney has faced criticism for his performance in a wide role against Italy and Hoddle, who guided England to the second round of the 1998 World Cup, believes a new formation should be deployed against Oscar Tabarez’s men.

“Roy is going to stick with the same eleven, I’m sure, and whether he switches Wayne Rooney inside and pushes Raheem Sterling on to the wing is debatable,” Hoddle told William Hill.

“However, I personally would make one change, one that would completely change the shape of the team and would have a huge effect on the way England play. It would, in my opinion, make all the difference.
“I would have Steven Gerrard sitting in front of the back four, and ahead of him Rooney and Adam Lallana – replacing Jordan Henderson - with Danny Welbeck and Raheem Sterling in the side positions.
“It would be a “V’ formation, Gerrard at the point of the V with Rooney and Lallana at the two prongs.
“It would allow for Rooney to burst forward, with Lallana sitting alongside Gerrard, or Lallana breaking forward and Rooney dropping back into midfield. One goes in, one stays.

“[Leighton] Baines needs someone in front of him to give him protection and Sterling has the young legs to run up and down the flank to fill in that hole that was left against Italy which they exposed brilliantly.

“England also need to work on their blind side runs as they need to get in behind defences.

“Germany did it four or five times against Portugal and a goal came from it - simple blind side runs can be so effective, and we will need that to open up Uruguay.”

Luis Suarez is battling to be fit to face England having undergone knee surgery less than four weeks ago.

“My feeling is that he cannot possibly be 100 per cent fit, he is lacking match sharpness for a start,” said Hoddle.
“But Uruguay will be tempted to risk him from the start because it’s an all or nothing game.”

Glenn Hoddle is's official World Cup blogger in Rio de Janeiro.