Stuart Pearce has called Wayne Rooney's role in the current England side into question. The former Three Lions assistant manager is unconvinced by the idea of deploying the record-breaking goalscorer in the No 10 role against Scotland.
Rooney, 31, is poised to captain England in their latest World Cup qualifying game at Wembley Stadium this evening (11 November). But Pearce fears the inclusion of the Manchester United captain could be detrimental to their hopes of winning the match.
"The big problem for me will come back to the Rooney situation. If Rooney is going to play just behind the striker, and Scotland are going to sit deep, I think Wayne just wants to play deep and get on the ball," he said of the United star, according to Sky Sports.
Rooney is expected to play in behind Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge at Wembley. Pearce has warned the captain against dropping too deep against Gordon Strachan's Scotland side, who currently sit fourth in Qualifying Group F.
"If he does [drop deep], Sturridge will be very isolated. Rooney cannot afford to keep dropping deep beyond their midfield. He's got to stay beyond their midfield and look for space, and get on the ball," Pearce urged the United forward.
"That's where the question mark around Rooney keeps coming up, time and time again. It's because he wants to play deeper where there's no traffic of players, get on the ball and start spraying it around. If we play with two holders, you're wasting players."
England interim manager Gareth Southgate recently confirmed Rooney's place in the starting XI for the game against Scotland, after he was only named on the bench for the previous qualifier against Slovakia. Southgate explained Rooney had earned a recall after showing improved form at club level.
"He is in a better place than he was for the last get-together in terms of his sharpness and his confidence," Southgate said of the United captain. "He is a really experienced player for a game like this and there was no hesitation from me to play him.
"He is playing well, as he has shown in the last couple of games for Manchester United. When he is in rhythm it helps him and he is confident. It is important to have his qualities in a game like this. We are team with a lot of energy and potential but you also need experienced players around you."