He may be leading the line for a team that notoriously fall flat on their face at a World Cup, but that shouldn’t put anyone off backing Wayne Rooney to change England’s fortunes in Rio and become the Golden Boot winner.
The Manchester United hitman, who has started the season in swaggering style, can be backed at a massive 40/1 to win the award while strong patriotic punters can get 100/1 on Rooney being the tournament top scorer and England winning their first World Cup since 1966.
In competitive England matches under Roy Hodgson, Rooney has scored eight goals in as many games
Like any highly charged individual, the relationship Rooney has with his superior is key to unleashing his inner beast, which triggers the high-class edge to the England supremo’s game.
Hodgson’s style of management has rubbed off on the fearsome forward, who was quick to publically defend his boss when the infamous monkey joke incident tried to cause a stir within the England camp.
Rooney’s public fall out with previous United boss Sir Alex Ferguson during last season affected his performances on a huge level and his improvement this campaign is something new boss David Moyes deserves a lot of praise for.
For England, Rooney’s goal to game ratio since Hodgson took charge is sensational and only United teammate Robin van Persie averaged a better minutes per-goal average than Rooney in the European World Cup qualifying section.
Since 1978 the average age of the Golden Boot winner has been 26.5
It’s been a recurring trend that young pretenders struggle to consistently fire goals at the world’s biggest football bonanza, with strikers approaching their 30’s putting their life experience to maximum use.
Rooney, who turned 28 in October, is by no means a spring chicken anymore and long gone are the days when he put Arsenal to the sword with that last minute winner, although he does have more hair now than when he burst onto the scene.
He is now in the prime of his career in terms of goalscoring pedigree and he will be well aware that this will be his last chance to show the world his capabilities at a major tournament as he’ll be pushing 33 in Russia.
Youthful England attack will create plenty of opportunities for Rooney
England’s frighteningly attack minded performances in their important qualifying clashes with Montenegro and Poland suggests Hodgson could employ similar no-holds barred tactics in Brazil.
This “we’ll score more than you” philosophy will centre around Rooney’s prowess in leading the line and feeding off creative influences like Andros Townsend, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Daniel Sturridge only bodes well for the England hot shot to go goal-crazy on the biggest stage.