World Cup verdict: Wayne Rooney needs to be more selfish for England says Darren Anderton
Last Updated: 20/06/14 7:44pm
Darren Anderton believes Wayne Rooney needs to develop a selfish side if he is to be considered one of the game’s great strikers.
Speaking on Sky Sports News' World Cup Verdict, the former Tottenham midfielder said Rooney’s willingness to play wide is a hindrance to his game and does not get the best out of the striker.
The Manchester United forward was restored to the number 10 role for the game against Uruguay on Thursday night and although England were beaten, he finally ended his World Cup finals goalscoring drought.
Anderton feels Rooney should stop sacrificing his own form for the team and should learn from the example set by Cristiano Ronaldo when the pair were at Old Trafford together.
"He’s too much of a team player for his own good," he said. "A few years ago Sir Alex Ferguson swapped him (Rooney) and Cristiano Ronaldo around at Manchester United because Ronaldo wasn’t prepared to do the tracking back and the helping your defenders you have to do when you play wide.
"That’s why he plays there now. Every player would rather play centrally because you’re going to get the best out of yourself as an individual.
"For me, he’s our star man and you need him involved as much as possible and in the right areas, which is behind the front two."
Anderton added: "He could have had a hat-trick. He was very unlucky with the header against the crossbar and he’ll be disappointed with the left-footed one in the second half.
"He’s getting into the right areas and hopefully the goal will give him some confidence going into the Costa Rica game."
Anderton represented England in the 1998 World Cup and is concerned the national side did not do enough in the crucial attacking and defending areas of the pitch during the current tournament.
"We had more possession and that’s what we wanted, but we didn’t create enough and then went to sleep against a world-class player," he said.
"In both of the games we haven’t stopped the crosses and the ball coming into the box. Also, your centre-backs have to play as a pair and that didn’t happen.
"World Cups only come around every four years and you need to make sure you take your chances when they come."