Sports

Rooney's England role under scrutiny ahead of Uruguay game after losing start to World Cup

England's Wayne Rooney, right, fails to score during the group D World Cup soccer match between England and Italy at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Saturday, June 14, 2014.  (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

England's Wayne Rooney, right, fails to score during the group D World Cup soccer match between England and Italy at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Saturday, June 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)  (The Associated Press)

As so often with England, a setback on the pitch has provoked renewed scrutiny of Wayne Rooney's contribution. Or lack of it.

For all the dynamism of England's youngsters going forward in the 2-1 loss to Italy in their World Cup opener, Rooney's lack of real influence on the game stood out in Manaus on Saturday.

Credit to the Manchester United striker for setting up England's only goal, providing the cross for Daniel Sturridge to equalize, but three of his own shots all went off target.

Rooney was shunted out to the left wing initially in an unsuccessful attempt to allow Raheem Sterling to limit Andrea Pirlo's impact, but he cut a frustrated figure.