Harry Redknapp: Wayne Rooney a top player but England must find balance

Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp is backing Roy Hodgson's decision to play Wayne Rooney on the left wing

harry redknapp
QPR boss Harry Redknapp Photo: The Sport Review

Harry Redknapp has appeared to back Roy Hodgson’s decision to play Wayne Rooney on the left wing as England were beaten 2-1 by Italy in the World Cup opener.

The Manchester United striker, who struggled to produce consistent form last season, played on the left of a four-pronged attack against the Azzurri.

He has to play, he is a top player, but we have to get the balance right

Harry Redknapp

Whilst the 28-year-old did provide an assist for Sturridge’s strike, Rooney gave away the ball eight times and looked uncomfortable tracking back.

QPR boss Redknapp, who was in the running to replace Fabio Capello before Hodgson was appointed in 2012, feels Rooney may have to be sacrificed for the good of the England side.

“We played ever so well. There were some outstanding performances – Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck were excellent,” Redknapp to BBC Five Live.

“We were well in the game, but our final ball let us down. Looking at the group and the result with Uruguay, I still think we can qualify.

Redknapp added: “Rooney is a difficult one. He is an outstanding player; you try and balance your team and you have one of your best players out of position and it does not quite work.

“He has to play, he is a top player, but we have to get the balance right. I’d play him, and Sterling out wide.”

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