20/11/2014 12:39 GMT | Updated 20/01/2015 05:59 GMT

Why Wayne Rooney Should Not Be Scapegoated for England's Failures

If Wayne Rooney had been Argentinian or Brazilian, he may well have been the poster boy of a football mad nation. Unfortunately for Wayne, however, he's English and gets lambasted after almost every performance.

The root of the problem is that ​England fans are a strange lot. Most nations adore their best players, holding them high on a pedestal to be admired and appreciated from all corners of the country. But no, not in England.

Some sort of Rooney-hating obsession has now emerged and is highlighted best by the Three Lions' recent 3-1 defeat of Slovenia. The Manchester United skipper scored the penalty that set his side on the way to a 3-1 comeback against their opponents on Saturday and has now led his country to four wins out of four in Euro 2016 qualifying.

Nevertheless, the general feeling after the game was that Rooney was poor and many still seem to genuinely believe that he should be dropped from the side.

When you take a quick look at his record this becomes something of a moot point. He averages almost a goal every other game, which for a player who rarely plays as an out an out striker is more than reasonable at this level.

The problem seems to be that because he is the best England have, people expect him to hit the heights of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. This is a pipe dream and is damaging to both English players and supporters' expectations.

Fans will argue that England are playing against relatively poor sides in qualifying and they may be right, but there is little else that both Rooney and England can do better at this stage. In fact, neither has put a foot wrong so far this qualifying campaign.

He is perhaps a victim of his own success in this sense. Over the last 10 years the expectation placed upon him is simply too high and he has been expected to single-handedly drag an average England side to success.

His failure to do so, however, is not just his, it's England's as a whole.

Rooney has done his time with the somewhat ironically named 'golden generation' and has now ushered in a new look England side, one perhaps better suited to international football though still light years behind the likes of Germany, Argentina, Brazil and Spain.

Despite his century of caps, however, Rooney himself has admitted that he will never be considered an England great unless he wins something with the side. Euro 2016 is realistically his last chance to do so.

Even the most passionate Three Lions fan would not pin too much hope on their side winning the tournament in two summers time though, so it looks as though Rooney will be forced to leave the international scene without any major honours.

Nevertheless, when England do inevitably flop at Euro 2016, don't just blame Rooney, try to take a look at the bigger picture.

English football as a whole needs a complete makeover, from grass roots level right up to the Premier League. This is a simplified version of the reason for why England are no longer successful on the international stage and this has nothing to do with Wayne Rooney.

So when Marco Reus scores Germany's fourth and England go crashing out once more, don't just blame Wayne, he can't win a tournament by himself. It's time to start blaming English football.

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