So far, it’s been difficult to find an abundance of critics of the Roon after he was sent packing in England’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro. And now that the Manchester United striker has been given a three match ban, the pundits have been given a fantastic opportunity to have a dig at Uefa. Why lambast Rooney for his senseless act of thuggery when you can take Michel Platini to task for having an agenda against English football? While we’re at it, the hate campaign against Fifa president Sepp Blatter has gone a little quiet recently. He is also to blame.
The fact is, whether or not Uefa does in fact harbour some kind of grudge against the English FA and is lurking, ready to pounce whenever the opportunity may arise, Wayne Rooney should never have put himself in this position. He is the one who has let everyone down with his inability to think through what he was doing and has asked for a lengthy ban. Phil Neville and Stan Collymore both hit out at Uefa earlier for imposing the three game ban, rather than addressing the question: Wazza, what were you thinking? Many will share their sentiment and reassure the fans that Rooney will learn. The man has been playing at the very top level for eight years. If he still hasn’t learned you can’t go around booting opponents willy nilly, his coaches have been doing it wrong. Few would argue that Rooney is a fine player, but he is no good to anyone if he’s suspended.
In all honesty, who can deny that it was violent conduct? If it had happened at Old Trafford for United, even Sir Alex would have a job arguing vehemently against the decision. It’s time to accept that Rooney will play no part the group stages of Euro 2012 for England and look to other players to do the business. It is a team game after all. Incidentally, since the Roon has been a part of the squad, the Three Lions have had a better win percentage without him than with him. Ergo, it need not be all doom and gloom. It’s great news for another player who otherwise – in form or not – may not have been selected. There’s a chance some of the other lads might strike up a good partnership.
Mind you, it’s still worth bringing Rooney along to Poland/Ukraine next summer. You can never have enough strikers and he could prove useful if England are to advance to the knock out stages of the Euros. But he shouldn’t go in place of another forward. Fabio Capello should gamble ever so slightly and discard one of the token defenders who won’t get a minute’s play. Or oust of the three goalkeepers. Admit it, Ashley Cole is 100% certain to be the left back and if Joe Hart doesn’t hog the number 1 shirt for the duration of the tournament, hats will be eaten. You can never have too many strikers so you might as well take the chance. Keepers never get injured and it’s unlikely that two of them will drop a clanger and have to be relegated to the bench. Probably.