Steven Gerrard Should Partner Wayne Rooney Up Front In World Cup – Sir Geoff Hurst

Ollie Irish

2nd, June 2010


By Ollie Irish

“They do though, don’t they though?”

Sir Geoff Hurst, who emerges from hibernation every four years, would like to see England manager Fabio Capello pair Wayne Rooney & Steven Gerrard up front in South Africa, albeit in a 4-5-1 formation.

“I am convinced that 4-5-1 is the formation he [Capello] should play,” Sir Geoff said.

“I think that our best combination up front to compete with the best would be Rooney and Gerrard – they would arguably be the best partnership in world football.

“Wayne has played well on his own up front. If you had asked me two years ago then I would’ve told you he wouldn’t be able to do it. He has had a magnificent season though and for a lot of the games he has played up front alone in that system.

“I think Steven Gerrard’s best position is where he plays for Liverpool – just off Fernando Torres.

“He and Wayne already have a tremendous working relationship. I’ve seen that when they play for England. They haven’t played too many games up front together but when they have there have been instances where they have shown a good understanding and together I think they can be a very dangerous pairing, certainly towards the latter part of the tournament.”

Agree with Hursty? I think he talks a lot of sense. Gerrard is clearly most effective in and around the opposition penalty box, not sitting back in the centre circle.

Hurst’s preferred formation would depend partly on the fitness of Gareth Barry, who has the discipline to do the defensive duties in midfield whilst Gerrard and greedy Frank Lampard rove forward in search of Hollywood goals/deflected tap-ins (respectively).

Posted in International football, Liverpool, Man Utd, Opinion, World Cup

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  1. Fredmeister says:

    I see his point, but then that will cut out what I reckon our main source of goals in SA: Dead balls.

    Corner/Free-kick to the back post, Crouchy causes loads of trouble, scores/nods back to another player to score.

    It sounds negative but there is NOONE at that world cup who can deal with him from a set-piece, which is why I reckon he will start up front for England with Wazza.

  2. oller says:

    Filthy plans Fred, I like it.

    Must say, I agree with Geoff Hurst. You can tell Rooney and Gerrard work very well together. It’s one of combinations where if you’re not watching the TV properly and you see some incisive interplay or something clever – you already know it’ll be those 2 at it.

    All of a sudden England don’t sound so useless.

  3. Andrew says:

    Since Fat Frank will be eating too many donuts to make it all the way up the pitch to score said tap-ins, he might as well resign himself to the fact that he’ll be a holding midfielder alongside Gary Barry.

  4. Ed says:

    The deployment of Rooney and Gerrard in a central attacking combination is an appealing notion. There are other options for the left-flank (principally Joe Cole) if Gerrard plays behind the forward, but I think the main concern is that club form does not transfer to international level in a straightforward fashion. Rooney leads the line effectively for Man Utd, but I can see him becoming isolated as a lone forward for England (as he did in 2006.) And Gerrard’s performances for England have improved since Capello started using him in a more defined left-sided role.

    Both Rooney and Gerrard performed admirably over the qualifiers when a target-man provided an advanced apex to the team structure. A forward such as Heskey or Crouch provides Rooney with freedom to drop deep and wide in search of space – and using Gerrard on the left relinquishes him of the expectations associated with a centrally-located playmaker. There’s also an article here which suggests that a centrally-located Rooney/Gerrard pairing should remain a back-up plan:

  5. Ala says:

    The England team looks strong once you solve the Gerrard-Lampard conundrum. Playing Gerrard just off Rooney in the centre-forward role wouldn’t be as awkward as it sounds. Gerrard is a clinical finisher compared to the likes of Heskey.

    My starting line-up would be as follows:

    Johnson Terry Ferdinand A.Cole
    Lennon Lampard J.Cole

    This also opens up the left-midfield spot vacated by Gerrard where the impressive Joe Cole can comfortably cement himself.

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