Premier League - Scholes questions Rooney starting berth, does not expect United role

Wayne Rooney might not be an automatic choice in Roy Hodgson's England starting line-up at the World Cup, according to Paul Scholes.

Champions League - Paul Scholes slates Chelsea: Great teams don’t fail to beat ten men

View photo

Paul Scholes (PA)

Rooney is expected to start England's opening Group D game against Italy in tandem with Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge but with exciting attacking talents such as Raheem Sterling, Ross Barkley and Adam Lallana all providing options, Scholes believes Rooney will have to be on his toes.

"I'm not saying Wayne needs to be dropped but if his form doesn't get up to scratch in the warm-ups, or in the first game of the World Cup, it'll be interesting to see if the England management team has the balls to make that decision," Scholes said in his column on betting website Paddy Power.

"We have quality forwards in the squad this time. That should give Wayne the competition he needs to spur him on a little more," he added.

Rooney was disappointing in Germany in 2006, failing to score in the tournament after recovering from a broken foot. He was also poor in South Africa four years later, looking disgruntled and again failing to score.

"He's got a brilliant scoring record for his country with 38 goals in 89 internationals, but he's played in eight World Cup games without a goal," Scholes said.

"You expect more of him. If Wayne is going to be one of the best footballers in the world, this World Cup is where he has to produce."

Scholes added that Rooney's occasional fitness issues may be down to burn out.

"There's a chance he's worn out. Wayne's peak may have been a lot younger than what we'd expect of footballers traditionally. Age 28 or 29 has been the normal 'peak'. With Wayne, it could have been when he scored 27 league goals in 2011/2012 when he was 26."

The Old Trafford legend, who was brought on board as a coach by interim manager Ryan Giggs at the end of last season following David Moyes' sacking, is not expecting to continue his coaching role at the club he spent his entire career at.

Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal's appointment was announced on Monday, and despite the Dutchman's plans to have Giggs alongside him as assistant manager, it is believed that Van Gaal will select his own coaching staff at United.

Scholes said: "I've not spoken to Edward Woodward. I came back for Ryan Giggs for the last few games of last season to try to help out, but I'm not waiting for a phone call and don't expect to be at United next season."

The former England midfielder, who retired a year ago, also revealed that he didn't think David Moyes was given enough time at United, and the former Everton boss was a scapegoat.

Scholes wrote: "David Moyes took a lot of stick, but I believe he's a top manager. I'd question if 10 months was enough time.

"Edward Woodward has an awful lot to prove this time that he's good enough at his job. He has to bring the players in that the new manager wants.

"It's obvious that last year he didn't manage to do that. If he doesn't we are not going to get anywhere near the top."

View comments (46)