England 1 Italy 2: Paul Scholes 'disappointed' Roy Hodgson put Wayne Rooney out on the left rather than up front in defeat in Manaus

Manchester United legend thinks England were 'encouraging' despite loss

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The Independent Football

Former Manchester United and England midfielder Paul Scholes believes Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson should have played his former team-mate Wayne Rooney up front in the 2-1 defeat to Italy.

Scholes, who won 66 caps for England, lamented the fact that Rooney played three different positions in the 2-1 defeat to Italy. Starting on the left, he also had stints on the right and as the striker after Daniel Sturridge was withdrawn.

Rooney provided the equlaiser for Sturridge with a superb cross but drew some criticism for his performance. However, Scholes believes that was because of the way he was asked to play.

"The disappointing thing was not the way Wayne Rooney played but where he was played," Scholes wrote on his Paddy Power blog.

"I've previously said the best position for Wayne is centre forward. If you think about the contenders at the World Cup and goalscorers – Holland play RVP in his best position. Brazil play Neymar where he wants to play, Argentina with Messi, Portugal with Ronaldo."

Rooney is still to score in a World Cup match, a record that now extends to nine matches across three tournaments.

Scholes believes England boss Roy Hodgson made a mistake in starting Rooney on the left in the opening match of the World Cup against Italy

"I don’t blame Wayne one little bit but he was played in three different positions. He’s without a doubt England’s best goalscorer (his record in qualifying showed that: seven goals).

"But he was played on the left, played on the right, then in the centre. Where’s the confidence in Wayne to say: 'You’re our main player. You’re our centre forward.' If he plays there, he scores goals."

Despite the defeat England are still in charge of their own destiny and know wins against Uruguay and Costa Rica will see them through to the knockout stages.