CURTIS WOODHOUSE: Rooney shouldn’t start at Euro 2016

The gloves are off with Curtis Woodhouse
The gloves are off with Curtis Woodhouse
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I watched England make it 10 wins out of 10 in their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign when they beat Lithuania on Monday evening, and wasn’t particularly impressed by what I saw.

It was a game with nothing riding on it, and you could tell that by the pace which it was played at.

Do you agree with Curtis? Should Wayne Rooney start at Euro 2016? Email rhys.howell@jpress.co.uk or Tweet @Howell_rm

Do you agree with Curtis? Should Wayne Rooney start at Euro 2016? Email rhys.howell@jpress.co.uk or Tweet @Howell_rm

I turned it off after an hour, because to be honest I was bored. England needed to quicken things up and play at a much faster tempo.

You have to give credit to the players for their 100 per cent record, although they’ve been up against poor opposition, it’s still a decent achievement winning all your qualifiers.

What is important now, however, is that England pick the right team for the finals next summer.

If I was the gaffer I’d go with a 4-2-3-1 formation, and Joe Hart would be my goalkeeper, I think that selection is a no-brainer.

Now is the right time for Manny Pacquiao to retire, says Curtis Woodhouse

Now is the right time for Manny Pacquiao to retire, says Curtis Woodhouse

Nathaniel Clyne should start at right-back, and I’d have Luke Shaw at left-back although with the nasty injury he sustained last month, it remains to be seen if he will even play again this season.

If Shaw isn’t fit then I’d pick Ryan Bertrand over Kieran Gibbs as I don’t think the Arsenal man can defend.

England don’t have the quality of centre-halves to choose from that they did five years ago, and it’s not a position of particular strength at the moment.

I’d go with Gary Cahill who I think is okay, and John Stones, who looks like he could develop into a world class player in five years time.

Curtis Woodhouse has enjoyed watching the 2015 Rugby World Cup

Curtis Woodhouse has enjoyed watching the 2015 Rugby World Cup

If you look how good he is now while he is still learning the game, then it bodes well for the future.

Chris Smalling is much improved as well and is a good option now, but I think I’d start with Cahill and Stones.

My two holding midfielders would be Michael Carrick and Jordan Henderson.

Carrick is one of the few English midfielders who can keep the ball, and you need that in tournament football, while Henderson compliments Carrick’s lack of mobility, as he’s full of energy and drive.

Jack Wilshire, who I think might be made out of popadoms, would no doubt be injured, again, and thus misses out.

Raheem Stirling is an exciting propsect and I’d have him down the right, with Daniel Sturridge on the left. These are two players who can stretch the game and have the pace to run in behind defences.

Ross Barkley would get the position in behind the striker, and Harry Kane would be the man leading the line.

There’s no place in my team for Wayne Rooney, simply because for me, he’s a player in decline and when I watch him he slows the game down too much and too often.

Ross Barkley starts ahead of him in the ‘number 10’ role because he offers everything Rooney did when he first burst on the scene, and Kane links the play better and offers more of a presence and a threat in the penalty area.

Do you agree with Curtis’ England team? Who would you pick? Tweet @woodhousecurtis or email rhys.howell@jpress.co.uk

RIGHT FOR PAC-MAN TO WALK AWAY

Manny Pacquiao has announced that he will fight once more and then retire, and I think it’s the right decision.

The Pacman has been there and done it, he’s a great fighter and I think he needs to quit while he is ahead.

His best days are certainly behind him, I don’t think he’s knocked anybody out in four years, and that tells its own story.

When he was moving up through the weight divisions he was a fighter who was always stopping his opponents.

These days, he’s not got that in his armoury and just isn’t the same boxer.

When you’ve come from nothing and achieved what he has, win the titles and earned so much money, there isn’t really a lot left to do.

I don’t know where he goes from here and so I think he is best calling it a day now and enjoying his wealth while he is still healthy.

When you look at how much he has earned, why wouldn’t you want to retire from the game having done it all already, and then just sit back and enjoy it?

Nobody wants to see great fighters carrying on past their best – it’s never a pretty sight.

ASK WOODHOUSE

I’ve seen on Twitter that you’ve been watching a lot of the Rugby World Cup, are you a big fan of the sport? Margaret O’Shea

The first sport I was ever involved in, wasn’t football or boxing, but rugby at Driffield RUFC.

My dad took me down to play in the minis section as a young lad, and so I’ve always had an interest in the sport from an early age.

I’ve been enjoying watching the Rugby World Cup, and now England are out, I’m right behind Ireland, I’m sure I’ve got some Irish blood in me somewhere.

Their win over France at the weekend was just epic.

I’ve got massive admiration for professional rugby players, and the dedication they put into their training to get their bodies in the right shape to participate in such a brutal sport.

When I was at Sheffield United we used to go weight training at the Don Valley Stadium, and we’d often be in the gym at the same time as the Sheffield Eagles lads.

Obviously we were fit lads ourselves, but the way the rugby boys trained was something else.

Is having the right trainer vital to a boxer’s chances of success in the ring, or is natural ability sufficient? Faisal Mahmoud.

For me, I think that finding the right trainer is very important, it certainly helped me in my career in the ring.

I was extremely lucky, I worked with so many amazing coaches.

I started out with Dave Coldwell, who taught me so much, then I moved on to Glyn Rhodes, John Pegg and then Ryan Rhodes, before teaming up with Adam Booth later in my career.

If I was to try and explain how good these guys are I’d have to say that my first four trainers were the equivalent of the top four in the Premier League, but Adam Booth just blew me away – he’d be the equivalent of a World Cup winning team. One of the things that set Adam apart was the psychological work that he does with his fighters.

No one coach knows it all though, and I think that the secret is to work with plenty of good trainers and take the best bits from each one and then put all these things together to better your game.