Hodgson believes Man Utd man can be England’s Ibrahimovic

08:40 16 November 2012


England's Wayne Rooney (l) and Steven Gerrard. Picture: Mike Egerton/EMPICS


Roy Hodgson insists Wayne Rooney can be England’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Swedish striker’s wonder-goal in his side’s 4-2 friendly win over England in Stockholm immediately sent minds racing about other great goals in the modern era.

Diego Maradona’s slalom effort for Argentina against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final was an obvious one, Marco van Basten’s brutal volley in the Euro 88 final or even Paolo di Canio’s for West Ham against Wimbledon in 2000.

But more recently, Rooney’s spectacular overhead kick against Manchester City at Old Trafford takes some beating.

There was a similarity to last night in the height Rooney rose off the ground before launching himself at Nani’s deflected cross in 2011.

Yet it also served as a reminder 2012 has been another year of relative disappointment for Rooney on the international stage.

Suspended for the first two European Championship games, the forward looking sluggish when he did return and whilst he did score a penalty in that fateful shoot-out defeat to Italy, he was on the periphery for much of the proceeding 120 minutes.

Hodgson retains faith in his star man though.

“Rooney is a top-class player,” said Hodgson. “We have to hope he can produce top performances.

“I believe in Wayne Rooney very strongly, as of course do Manchester United.”

The problem is how to maximise his talents.

At various times for United, he has been used as a lone forward, just behind a main striker and wide on the left.

Just recently, he has been operating in a deep role just in front of the Red Devils’ midfield.

The difference is that Sir Alex Ferguson has other alternatives to choose from.

Robin van Persie could hardly be described as a sub-standard option and Javier Hernandez’s recent goalscoring run already has him pencilled in for a start at Norwich on Saturday.

As Hodgson is painfully aware, he simply does not have the same strength in depth.

“You don’t have to do anything specific to get the best out of Wayne,” said Hodgson.

“We know the ability he has and his commitment to the cause.

“Alex Ferguson has done it very well down the years but, of course, there’s a lot of pressure and if he doesn’t have a good game a lot of questions are asked of him.

“That’s the responsibility he bears.”

Related articles


Latest Sport Stories

Yesterday, 17:00
Leyton Orient midfielder Sammy Moore puts his foot in during their recent contest with Northampton Town (pic: Simon O'Connor),

Midfielder previews clash with Crawley Town, discusses his injury last weekend and talks tactics

Ian Hendon
Yesterday, 13:00
New Orient loan signing Adam Chicksen, in action for former club Milton Keynes Dons (pic: David Davies/PA)

Brighton & Hove Albion ace discusses how the O’s are more professional now and praises Ian Hendon

Andy Hessenthaler
Yesterday, 11:45
Millwall forward John Marquis has moved to Leyton Orient on a three-month loan (pic: Press Association/Daniel Hambury).

Brisbane Road outfit finally get their man after failing to bring in forward last week

Scott Kashket
Thu, 17:00
Orient's Ian Hendon looks on (pic; Simon O'Connor)

Brisbane Road boss hoping O’s can continue their decent form on the road and talks international call-ups

Alex Cisak

Most read sport


Angharad Baa Stool in Rare Breed.

Great British Life is offering a sheepskin footstool worth £199 to a lucky reader

Read more
You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

Read more
You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Read more

Digital Edition

Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder