Rooney calls for Rashford to start ahead of Grealish against Germany
Wayne Rooney would start Marcus Rashford ahead of Jack Grealish against Germany on Tuesday.
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England’s record all-time goalscorer has extolled the virtues of Grealish in the past, but feels Rashford’s attributes are “tailor-made” for the Germans.
Grealish was handed his first Euros start by Gareth Southgate on Tuesday and impressed early on, setting up Raheem Sterling for what would prove to be the winner against the Czech Republic.
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The Aston Villa captain faded as the game progressed but many fans would like to see him retain his place for the upcoming round of 16 clash, which will pit England against their old rivals.
Rooney, though, has selected Rashford ahead of him in his preferred XI, pinpointing the Manchester United forward’s pace as a way of exploiting Germany’s high line.
The Derby County manager said in his column for The Times: “After all my championing of Jack Grealish, I wouldn’t play him from the start against Germany.
“He was one of England’s better players against the Czech Republic and it is not that my opinion of him has changed. My thinking is entirely down to how the Germans play. Different opponents demand different approaches and Tuesday’s game is tailor-made for Marcus Rashford — but not Jack.
“Germany play three at the back with a high line and what they try to do is almost suffocate you. They pass side to side, get the ball in wide areas, come back and go all the way out to the other flank, then get balls into the penalty area.
“And when you win it, they want you to play a pass to feet because that means — with their line pushed right up — they can go and press you high up the pitch.
“The more players you have who want to take the ball to feet, the more they can press, so instead of Jack I’d be looking to have runners either side of Harry Kane.
“My instruction would be to attack the spaces behind their wing backs when they go forward and make runs down the channels to the sides of their centre backs — especially given Mats Hummels’ problems against pace.”