England's Steven Gerrard, left, and Wayne Rooney applaud spectators after the group D World Cup soccer match between England and Italy at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Saturday, June 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
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England's stalwarts couldn't match the pace of guile of the team's young lions in Saturday's 2-1 Group D defeat by Italy, raising questions about whether players such as Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney should still be automatic starters.England failed to make second-half pressure count with indifferent performances by captain Gerrard and Rooney.Asked to sum up Rooney's performance, England manager Roy Hodgson defended one of his most trusted players whose only moment of inspiration was a pinpoint cross for Daniel Sturridge's equalizer.With striker Luis Suarez set to return from injury for the Uruguayans, Hodgson will rely on Sturridge and his live-wire Liverpool teammate Raheem Sterling to reproduce the display which prompted Italy manager Cesare Prandelli to heap praise on a new-look England.
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