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Wayne Rooney Has Revealed His England Line-Up For Huge Final Group Game Against Czech Republic

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Wayne Rooney Has Revealed His England Line-Up For Huge Final Group Game Against Czech Republic

Wayne Rooney is encouraging Gareth Southgate to make changes for England's final group fixture.

England's record goalscorer believes Jack Grealish simply has to start against Czech Republic, at the expense of Phil Foden - who Rooney believes "has been moulded into a City player" and is finding it difficult to adapt for the national team's style of play.

Image: PA
Image: PA

Urging the fans to back the players and not boo following the drab 0-0 draw with Scotland, Rooney gave his thoughts in his column for the Sunday Times.

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"It is important Gareth gets the selection right and gives the lads freedom to play, asking them to speed up and, at times, be more direct.

"There are certainly changes I hope Gareth makes for Tuesday's game against the Czech Republic.

"As I have been saying since the build-up to the tournament, Jack Grealish has to start.

"One thing we have seen, watching him and Raheem Sterling in the two opening games, is how differently England and Manchester City play, and how difficult that makes it for Phil Foden especially to adapt.

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"City play in the final third. They keep possession there.

"And Foden is not a dribbler but a player who plays nice little passes and moves into good positions. At City, the movement of players around him enables it.

"City will play quick five-yard passes before a little movement - not a big one - will free Foden up and he has licence to go into the spaces and play as a No 9, at times, or No 10 at others.

"Whereas with England he is a bit isolated out wide and when he receives the ball, the possession is slow and there is little happening around him.

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"That means he then has to dribble - and if you are playing in such a way that, from your wide players, dribbling is what is required then why not play Grealish and Jadon Sancho, two of the best at doing it.

"I was saying before the tournament that we have to calm down on the Foden hype because even though he is an unbelievable talent, you cannot expect young players to come and tear tournaments up.

"I love Foden as a footballer but you have to realise that, for four years and more, he has been moulded into a City player.

"Pep Guardiola did not let him go on loan, or experience a different style of football - his whole adult career has been spent playing the Guardiola/City way.

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"It is hard for him to turn up and just change how he has been playing since the age of 16."

Image: PA
Image: PA

The Spurs striker came into the Euros off the back of a stunning individual season in which he topped the goals and assists charts in the Premier League but he's looked out of sorts and failed to manage a shot on target thus far.

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Kane was hooked after 74 minutes and replaced by Marcus Rashford against Scotland, with some wondering whether he will get the nod again on Tuesday.

For Rooney, Kane should not be dropped but the Derby County boss reckons his old Everton teammate Dominic Calvert-Lewin should get a go from the off.

Image: PA
Image: PA

With another frontman, Rooney is advocating for Kane to play a little deeper in a free role.

"I would also play Dominic Calvert-Lewin up front with Harry Kane," the Manchester United legend added.

"Why? Well, in both games Harry has been isolated - especially against Scotland where he had to play against three centre halves, which is always very difficult for a single striker.

"Calvert-Lewin could make a difference. He can run channels, occupy the centre backs, win headers and bring the crossing ability of someone like James into play.

"He could do for England what Olivier Giroud does for France, offering that different option. Kane could play more in the No 10 role he has started occupying for Spurs.

"I have spoken about the need for him, for England, to stay high up, play within the width of the goal and be a No 9 but instead he has dropped deep - especially against Croatia.

"If that is the way Harry is going to play, you might as well play with a No 9 and free Harry to be in the role he now seems to prefer. Adapt the team to him. You certainly do not drop him - he has to play.

"It will be obvious to everyone that he has not had the best two games but he is England's most natural goalscorer by far, so he has to be on the pitch.

"He just needs better service and to be more connected to the rest of the team."

Topics: Football, Euro 2020, Jack Grealish, England, Wayne Rooney

Josh Lawless
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