The incident in question

Rooney ban reduced. Scapegoat being primed as we speak.

Well, excuse me while I take my cynical and sarcasm tinted glasses off.. Rooney had his 3 match ban for mindlessly kicking Miodrag Dzudovic during the game in Montenegro reduced to just two matches today as a result of an appeal.  Great news for England fans right?

Reading this you must think I am anti-England and anti-Rooney, but things couldn’t be further from the truth, he is a fantastic player, and if he fires us to Euro 2012 glory I will name my first child after him!  I want England to do well, but my issue is what surrounds this whole court appeal and the possible knock on effects this might have with the vultures that are our press.

There is no doubt that Rooney is an exceptional talent, he has the ability to change a game at the flick of a foot, this is a fact. But now Fabio will have some serious selection issues.  We all know that Fabio thinks of Rooney as the first name on the team sheet, rightly or wrongly I will leave up to you to decide.

The incident in question

Lets say that England put in 2 good performances without the Roon in the matches he will miss (France and Sweeden) – when it comes down to the game against the Ukraine, will Fabio have the guts to say “Actually, i’m not going to switch things around, you can sit on the bench Wayne” or will he just put a (so far this season under par) Rooney back in the starting XI ?

The press love a good scapegoat, and unfortunately if England find themselves needing a result against the Ukraine, and Rooney starts, and plays badly, it will be all Fabio’s fault for selecting him.  All sorts of reasons will come out as to why we were dumped out of the competition, but I will bet most of them will revolve around Rooney’s selection by Fabio, never mind the other 10 players on the pitch.

I know everyone loves a good stat, so take a look at these which are being branded around at the moment:

With the Roon: Played 73 games, average win percentage – 60.3% – Goals per game – 1.9 Conceded per game – 0.86
Without Roon: Played 31 games, average win percentage – 71% – Goals per game – 2.1 Conceded per game – 0.77

So really, Rooney FC England are better without the Man Utd frontman, right guys? I mean stats don’t lie..we couldn’t possibly worry about looking at the quality of the teams played could we?

My main issue with this is not the outcome of the verdict, I think it is great that Fabio has the option to select the players he wants for the last game, especially when they are great players such as Wayne.  The main issue here is that yet again another punishment is not carried out, its not like he didn’t kick out at the guy for no reason is it?  He clearly did.  If the punishment was “harsh” or not, that is what UEFA chose to give out, and that is what should be served, otherwise you are sending out the wrong message to players and kids alike.  “Its ok guys, we can just appeal later, go out there and be a total prick”, and lets be fair, kicking out in frustration is exactly that, regardless of the level of football.  Helping out in the community should not be an alternative to a ban, this is something a lot of players do anyway, but this is what Rooney will face instead of the 3rd match.

UEFA must be secretly in charge of the country looking at the amount of sentences that are reduced in our justice system, and we wonder why kids today have no respect for authority, it’s because they always see the soft touch, especially when it comes to our celebrity culture.