Jun 14, 2014 at 11pm UK at ​Arena Amazonia, Manaus
England
1-2
Italy
Sturridge (37')
Sterling (90')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Marchisio (35'), Balotelli (50')

Rene Meulensteen cannot understand Wayne Rooney criticism

Wayne Rooney of England reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between England and Italy at Arena Amazonia on June 14, 2014
© Getty Images
Former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen does not believe that striker Wayne Rooney deserves the criticism that he has received from the media.

Former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen has admitted that he is surprised at the criticism that has been levelled at England striker Wayne Rooney after England's defeat to Italy last Saturday.

Meulensteen said that in fact Rooney played well out of position on the left flank, which was shown by his assist for Daniel Sturridge for England's first-half equaliser.

"I really can't understand the national debate which has been fuelled by the media," he told talkSPORT. "People try to talk others into making Rooney an England failure.

"What they should be looking at is the positives of the Italy game; it was a really good performance against a really good Italy side. England definitely deserved a draw.

"Wayne Rooney, from the left hand side, put in a fantastic cross [for Sturridge's goal] and, with a little bit more luck, could have scored. The newspapers would have written: 'Rooney earns England a draw with Italy'."

England take on Uruguay in their second Group D game on Thursday night.

Wayne Rooney of England reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between England and Italy at Arena Amazonia on June 14, 2014
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