Rooney and Gerrard
Gerrard defends Rooney following Scholes criticism.

England captain Steven Gerrard has hit back at claims made by Paul Scholes suggesting Wayne Rooney is on the decline.

After previously suggesting his former Manchester United teammate is fully capable of dropping into a deeper midfield position, Scholes wrote in his blog that Rooney has already enjoyed his best ever season two years ago.

"Wayne's peak may have been a lot younger than we'd expect of footballers traditionally," Scholes wrote.

"Age 28 or 29 has been the normal peak. With Wayne, it could have been when he scored 27 league goals in 2011-2012 when he was 26."

But ahead of England's friendly with Peru on Friday, Liverpool and England skipper Gerrard has leapt to the defence of his international teammate.

"Paul Scholes is wrong," Gerrard said. "I think he's (Rooney) been Manchester United's best player at home and in Europe.

"He's been in terrific form. I can only judge from my opinion but from what I've seen from his performances in the United team, his form has been really positive."

After bursting onto the international scene in Euro 2004 Rooney has failed to deliver a telling impact in past World Cups in Germany (2006) and South Africa (2010).

On both occasions the Unites striker has entered struggling for full fitness and Gerrard believes the striker's commitment to begin this summer's campaign in Brazil in peak physical condition must be commended.

"He's worked hard this week and he decided to do his own week of extra training," Gerrard said.

"He seems in an awful better frame of mind going into this tournament than he's had going into previous tournaments when he's had injuries on his mind in the past. I'm excited about where Wayne Rooney is at."