Sport

This England fans’ XI has no room for Rooney

For probably the first time in 30 years, England's problems have been reversed: there's a worry over our defensive strengths, while our cup of attacking talent floweth over.

And it's left Roy Hodgson with a tricky selection decision to make at this summer's European Championships. Does he go with the free-scoring, new-on-the-scene likes of Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford, or does he stick with his tried-and-tested, record-breaking, but out-of-form captain Wayne Rooney?

A new fans' survey suggests that Three Lions supporters are keen to go with the young guns, with 75 per cent of them selecting Kane, 73 per cent Vardy and only 68 per cent picking Rooney for their ideal starting eleven.

2,000 fans were surveyed by Sporting Index at the start of May, and it seems that form trumps sentiment, with Rooney scoring just 14 goals in all competitions this season, while Kane has notched 28 and Vardy 24.

Elsewhere in the team, Joe Hart is a near-unanimous choice in sticks, with 86 per cent of supporters picking him. The back four would consist of Gary Cahill (78 per cent) and Chris Smalling (68 per cent) at centre-back, Kyle Walker (58 per cent) just edging in at right-back. At left-back, Everton's Leighton Baines was selected by 63 per cent of fans, just ahead of Danny Rose (61 per cent).

Midfield is more contested, with Dele Alli (61 per cent) picked to head up a diamond, with James Milner (58 per cent) and Adam Lallana (55 per cent) on the flanks and the returning Jack Wilshere (53 per cent) at the base. Midfielders Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling would be confined to the bench, alongside Rooney and his fellow forwards Daniel Sturridge and Theo Walcott.

Roy Hodgson has delayed naming his squad until Monday, with Wilshere and Jordan Henderson yet to prove their fitness, and the recent blow that Danny Welbeck will be out for nine months with a knee injury, alongside the existing loss of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

But we'll have to wait until England's opening game on 11 June to see who Roy ultimately plumps for when it comes to the crunch.

(Images: Rex/Sporting Index)