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Wayne Rooney expertly breaks down England's 'Golden Generation' problem and offers an easy solution to fix it

Adnan Riaz

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Wayne Rooney expertly breaks down England's 'Golden Generation' problem and offers an easy solution to fix it

Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has identified a solution to Sven-Goran Eriksson’s problems with England’s so-called ‘Golden Generation’ at the 2006 World Cup.

England’s star-studded Golden Generation boasted a plethora of world-class talent, including Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard, David Beckham and Rio Ferdinand.

However, the Golden Generation failed to live up to the high expectation placed on their shoulders and England’s hopes of capturing major silverware were thwarted.

Eriksson’s men finished top of Group B at the 2006 World Cup in Germany and defeated Ecuador 1-0 in the round of 16.

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England were subsequently defeated in the quarter-finals at the hands of Portugal, with the 10-men Three Lions crashing out of the World Cup 3-1 on penalties.

Rooney, who started three of England’s five matches at the World Cup, was sent off in the second half after he stamped on former Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho.

And the 37-year-old ex-England striker was dismissed by referee Horacio Elizondo after Portugal players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, called for him to take action.

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United and England’s all-time scorer failed to find the back of the net at the 2006 World Cup, but Rooney believes Eriksson should have deployed him out on the left.

Sven-Goran Eriksson failed to lead England’s so-called ‘Golden Generation’ to any major silverware. Credit: Alamy
Sven-Goran Eriksson failed to lead England’s so-called ‘Golden Generation’ to any major silverware. Credit: Alamy

Rooney admitted that he liked the former England manager, but he insisted that the Golden Generation would have benefited more from a 4-3-3 formation over a 4-4-2.

Speaking in his column for The Times, Rooney said: “I liked Sven, he had a great demeanour, but he did make one big mistake.

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“Just before our first game in 2006, he came out and said, ‘If everyone’s fit, this is my starting XI …' and for the lads who weren’t in it, that was tough.

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“And we had only one way of playing and one system -- a 4-4-2, in which he struggled to fit in all the midfield talent we had.

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“When you look back, it seems obvious he should have gone 4-3-3 with [Paul] Scholes, [Steven] Gerrard and [Frank] Lampard in the middle and played Michael Owen as the one striker.

“Me? Well, our problem position was always wide left, and I could have played there.”

Featured Image Credit: JioCinema's YouTube/Alamy

Topics: Wayne Rooney, England, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Football

Adnan Riaz
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