England captain played a deeper role with some good moments before fading
The pros and cons of having Wayne Rooney in the England starting line-up have been debated endlessly ahead of Euro 2016.
But it was always clear that Roy Hodgson would always start the captain and that occurred as expected in Marseille tonight in the 1-1 draw with Russia.
Particularly in the first half, England did play quite well for long periods against an unimpressive Russia side.
And Rooney found himself in a "quarter-back" role of sorts in midfield, a position that he finished the season with at Manchester United.
In a fluid midfield - defensively the shape behind Harry Kane was a line of five with Dier slightly deeper - Rooney was quite efficient and encouraging with his passing without being too incisive in terms of potential assists and key passes - bar one curved ball which almost set up Dele Alli.
Only three of his passes went astray, with raking passes to the flanks finding their mark.
Successful passes in green, unsuccessful in red and key passes in yellow
His goal threat was quite limited in that first half with one shot, but by the second half in which he was substituted with 12 minutes to go for Jack Wilshere, his passing influence and control waned considerably.
Partly that was down to Russia being more decisive as a force in that half but also because England lost the sense of control they had in the first half.
Indeed, visibly his shoulders slumped a couple of times in the second half immediately after he was dispossessed by the opposition as his influence faded.
However, before Eric Dier's goal, Rooney did come closest to opening the deadlock in Marseille when Igor Akinfeev tipped his shot onto the crossbar.
Russia's long passes from the back did not lead to much joy, especially when driven straight from left back up the flank.
By the second half, Russia's back four changed the angle and tone by continuing to target the England right-back zone but diagonally, although those big red lines tell you they go no joy from them.