The Andy Gray Column: Stuart Pearce should choose Manchester United duo Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck up front ambassador Andy Gray was talking exclusively to Mancunian Matters…

For me Stuart Pearce’s front two should be Manchester United duo Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck.

Of course he has other options but those two have torn apart some of the best teams in the country for club, so why can’t they do it for country?

Stuart has gone with youth in the squad for the match against the Netherlands and following that tactic Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge may think he should start and many would argue he’s got a strong case for being let loose at that end of the pitch.

But at the top level it’s about combinations and I’m not sure if the Rooney-Sturridge combination mixes or blends well, whereas we know Rooney can link up with Welbeck.

He’s not exactly what you would call a front runner, Daniel. He looks to drop off and come and get it, and do things that Wayne does. It may be a more difficult partnership and my instinct says go with the United pair, with Daniel coming from the bench.

Rooney and Welbeck look a more natural partnership. You’ve got Wayne who will come off and drop into the pocket and you’ve got Danny who will stretch defences the other way.

It might be that way that they go; they might even play Welbeck and Sturridge. Wayne can’t play the first two games of the European Championships, it would be a golden opportunity for somebody to say, ‘alright, let’s leave Wayne out against the Dutch and see how a couple of the younger players get on because we’re going to have to use them in the summer’. 

And that would make sense – but when Wayne is fit he is as good as there is so he has to play. I can see United having a big influence on Pearce’s England. As well as the front two there is Tom Cleverley.

There has been a lot of talk about other young players but Tom is one who could make England tick. 

He only played 60 minutes against Ajax and he’s in the England squad, which to me is a strange one but it shows what the coaches and Stuart think of him.

The lad is very highly rated and with other midfielders like Frank Lampard left out, and Jack Wilshere injured I can see Tom being handed a key role against the Dutch and beyond.

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