BBC BLOGS - Phil McNulty
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
« Previous | Main | Next »

Rooney must cut short fuse

Post categories:

Phil McNulty | 23:13 UK time, Monday, 7 June 2010

World Cup 2010: Rustenburg

High above Nelson Mandela Drive - the long road that stretches into and out of Rustenburg - the face of Wayne Rooney looks down from a giant hoarding accompanied by the slogan: "Once In A Lifetime."

Rooney is one of the symbols of the World Cup, earmarked even before the opening ceremony as a unique talent capable of making an indelible mark on the tournament.

If stars of Rooney's stature are important to the overall image of this South African showpiece, then this is nothing compared to how integral he is to England's chances of success.

And that is why Rooney's behaviour in England's unconvincing win against local side Platinum Stars will surely draw a short but sharp rebuke from Fabio Capello ahead of Saturday's opening game against the United States.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.


The sounds coming out of the United States camp suggest winding Rooney up will be among their primary aims in Rustenburg.

And those darker forces lurking within Bob Bradley's side will have noted with interest how England's talisman threatened to overheat completely in what amounted to little more than a practice match.

Rooney demonstrated his class by enlivening a poor England performance after emerging as a substitute for the second half, setting up a goal for Joe Cole and scoring himself after Jermain Defoe had made the early breakthrough.

But he senselessly became involved in heated exchanged with Platinum Stars' Kagiso Senamela and was unsettled to such an extent that he was eventually booked for dissent by local referee Jeff Selogilwe.

Selogilwe was justified in brandishing the yellow card, irrespective of the lowly status of the game, and it will serve as a timely reminder to Rooney that World Cup officials may not be so patient or lenient.

To say that Selogilwe was unimpressed by Rooney was an understatement - he may not be so lucky if he loses his cool again so obviously in the World Cup.

If he can blow up, however briefly, in a game of such minor significance, what might he be tempted to do when the World Cup is at stake?

In Rooney's defence he has curbed many of his former excesses and matured greatly in recent times, but he showed signs of his short fuse in the friendly win against Japan and it was on display here again.

Capello will regard it as a bonus that it happened in a game that was almost a public training exercise, played out in front of thousands of excited local schoolchildren after a road journey that took England's players from their Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus base past the vast expanse of the Pilanesberg Game Reserve and the temptations of Sun City.

The neat oval of the Moruleng Stadium was nowhere near full, but those inside gave vent to the full African football experience. The groans of the vuvuzelas will be a deafening feature of this tournament and the enthusiasm of the fans was wonderfully infectious.

Capello can now take this opportunity to give Rooney one last lecture about his responsibilities before the competition gets under way. The message is simple - England simply cannot afford to be without him, as he showed in flashes here.

In his absence, England can look worryingly witless, a flaw that makes it even more vital that he avoids the sort of needless conflict he became embroiled in.

Capello takes England's squad on safari on Tuesday as they concentrate on one type of big game before tackling another on Saturday. He cut an agitated figure as he stalked the technical area in an England tracksuit, so infuriated by his team's first-half failings that he received a stern rebuke from a female fourth official.

And he spent much of the interval issuing fierce instructions to his replacements as, Joe Cole apart, 10 changes were made. Capello still has choices to make, so his selection was being studied closely for clues as to who will face the United States.

With David James still struggling with a knee injury, Capello gave Joe Hart first chance against the Platinum Stars. He was able to watch Bradley Grobler's penalty sail yards over his head, but earned black marks from Capello for poor distribution and may have conceded ground to Robert Green.

Capello's likely first-choice back four was in place in the shape of Glen Johnson, John Terry, Ledley King and Ashley Cole, while Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard will almost certainly be flanked by Aaron Lennon and Joe Cole in midfield with Gareth Barry ruled out.

So to the attacking options - and apart from Rooney, no-one presented Capello with a compelling case for inclusion. The decision to start with Defoe and Peter Crouch up front appeared to point in the direction of Emile Heskey getting the nod for the opener.

Rooney is booked for dissent against Platinum StarsRooney is booked for dissent against Platinum Stars

Crouch had a poor 45 minutes, and while the pairing of Heskey and Rooney pepped England up, Aston Villa's striker demonstrated exactly why his inclusion in the squad is regarded with scepticism by so many.

He headed a simple chance wide before we saw a painful illustration of his lack of confidence. Rooney ignored a clear scoring opportunity to offer a "have this one on me" pass to Heskey, who not only declined to accept but then compounded his error by delivering a hospital pass to Lennon that ensured the opportunity was gone.

Heskey invariably holds the ball up well and bustles about, but this is hardly a special talent and it says little for his rivals that he seems destined to be England's battering ram again in South Africa. Almost by default, it appears he will once again play the role of Rooney's straight man for England.

It is worth remembering at this juncture that World Cups are not won and lost in games like these, although Capello's faces of fury and animated anger made it clear he expected more. He draws on experience to provide assurance that things can be so much different when the real combat begins.

England have hardly had the nation jumping with optimism with recent performances, but all Capello's plans have been building towards Saturday.

If Rooney's outburst will draw justified criticism, there should be credit to the Football Association and England's players for the way they handled themselves off the pitch here.

England's team displayed a banner to supporters before the game in the local language, Setswana, that read "Happy To Be Here With You" and the squad thrilled youngsters by staying behind long after the final whistle to sign autographs, with Rooney and David Beckham the main targets for their adulation.

The public relations were perfect. The performance less so.

Capello must now use these crucial days before the campaign to stress to his star player that a repeat of his antics against Platinum Stars is running a huge risk with England's World Cup aspirations.

You can follow me at twitter.com/philmcnulty and join me on Facebook.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Absolutely right. Capello has only lost one competitive game, and that was the dead rubber in Ukraine. His record in friendlies; not so good. England can only be judged by how they play when they put out a first team with a normal amount of substitutions against the USA; then we can start to criticise. Best of luck to the lads.

  • Comment number 2.

    Despite his unquestionable talent, Rooney's impudence and obnoxious misdemeanour in recent matches is sure to have world cup referees on red-alert. In the premiership, it seems our referees are frightened of booking Rooney for (in particular) dissent and foul/abusive language towards the official (a red card offence); they simply don't want the media flack that would come with such a decision, or one decision to bring so much attention to themselves. However, SA2010 will be different; referees will follow the law to the letter, and revel in the chance to bring Rooney down a peg or two, as has been shown in the past - for example, when the referee sent Rooney off against Villareal, after he had sarcastically 'clapped' his decision; the look on Roo's face!

    I hope Rooney can keep a lid on his temper and his impudence; as said previously, without him our slim chances of success become non-existent I would suggest. I just hope he gets appropriate guidance and grows up in the coming years to allow his personality to match his footballing talent.

  • Comment number 3.

    A blog about Rooneys temper - to be honest, this is a bit of a cliche now isn't it?

    We know about this already - simply continuing writing about it brings it to the forefront and perpetuates the issue.

    Any chance of writing about something else, like if Heskey should be in the squad? Oh.....

  • Comment number 4.

    Trouble with putting the microscope on England is you can't see the bigger picture. I watched the Tanzania vs Brazil game. These minnow teams and countries are not well disciplined, not well trained, and very excited.

    This leads to over zealous, late challenges. A number of Brazil players received two footed challenges and Dani Alves, who saw yellow, was not the only player to get angry about it. Remember, any of these challenges could put these players out of the World Cup. It is a human response and not about "questionable temperament".

    I'm guessing the Rooney situation is similar.

  • Comment number 5.

    Rooney has been indulged for too long by his similarly natured manager at Man United and is now far too big for his boots, and is a real threat to team morale. In the warm up games I have seen him throwing himself about like a school team bully if his team mates have failed to get the ball to him - maybe this is an effort to deflect attention from his own sub-standard England performances, isn't it 1 goal in 8 games? If I were a team mate I would tell him to shut his fat gob and concentrate on improving his own game. He's verging on a liability.

  • Comment number 6.

    I agree that this was very naive behaviour by Rooney. It just means that World Cup refs are going to be looking out for him and if there is a contentious decision to make it may be made easier for them due to Rooney's reputation.

    It is especially infuriating that he behaved like this as it was a meaningless warm up game and he has done so much to mend his reputation as a hot headed player.

  • Comment number 7.

    I think Capello has personally caused this current malaise within the England team. We are less than a week from kick off and no-one knows what England's starting 11 looks like. The Spanish, Italians and Brazilians all have settled, well established squads, with their public pretty much knowing exactly what squad will turn out, with players who are used to playing in those settled positions. Capello's plan to trial seemingly every player he has, often in new positions, simply doesn't exude confidence in those players. It is very reminiscent of Rafa Benitez's squad rotation policy at Liverpool, where players simply didn't know if they were playing from one match to another, and does nothing for a players morale. Capello should have had a starting eleven long ago and brought in players around that squad, thus we would have seen a more confident, flowing display from England, not the scared, agitated look of players who are scared of making a mistake and then being left out of the squad. That style may scrape us through friendly matches against Mexico and Japan, but against the aforementioned Spanish, Italian and Brazilian teams? This squads current attitude reminds me of the dark days of Steve McLaren, not the dashing, self-assured displays we have come to love seeing over the last few years.
    Unfortunately, I believe there is NO WAY we are going to win this tournament when in a position like this.

  • Comment number 8.

    Shrimpkebab: Love the irony re: should Heskey be in the squad?

    It is a bit old-hat to continually refer back to Rooney's temper, but it warrents discussion as he is the single-most integral part of a successful world-cup (I believe), and his behaviour, regardless of how many times it's been highlighted is relevant and worthy of discussion as it links intrinsically to our world-cup performance (here and now).

    It's equally cliched for anyone to say "oh, it's part of his game" or "take that away and he's half the player", what a load of tish; get sent off and he's none of the player!

  • Comment number 9.

    Rooney's temper is an double edge sword. Like David Beckham said, his competative fire is what makes him great but has been knowm to get him in rouble from time to time. England just has to accept it or run the risk of a calm but ineffective Rooney.

  • Comment number 10.

    Graham Poll said that WC2006 refs were briefed to watch out for all the fouling that Crouch does when contesting headers.

    Why does Rooney have to put himself in the spotlight with refs just days before the WC kicks off?!

    Whether it's for a straight red, or accumulated yellows, I can see Rooney serving a suspension during this WC. If none of the other strikers can sort themselves out then Rooney might not get the chance to come back and make amends.

  • Comment number 11.

    i am getting sick and tired of professional players, coaches & pundits coming out with the same old lines,"if you take away the fire from Wayne's belly you take away something from his game!". defoe defended his latest brush with a referee stating the same old stuff. we had the same rubbish spoken about rooney in 2006 and what happened there, sent off versus Portugal. he has to be told in no uncertain terms he must control his temper as he is needed on the pitch. there is no need to react as he does, in fact it takes away from his game getting involved in stupid spats such as this. unfortunately rooney is a sending off waiting to happen in SA 2010 if he reacts like this again and referees decide to enforce the letter of the law!

  • Comment number 12.

    I get the feeling that he was warned before the game by Capello et al due to the remarks made by the American player warning that they were going to try to wind him up. I feel that Rooney didn't like the fact that Capello didn't trust him and the theme produced by Rooney was supposed to by a sarcastic demonstration that he will do as he wishes but at the same time he does not need warning.

    I feel that Rooney has matured over the last few years and has learnt to channel the frustration he sometimes feels into the game and working hard for his team. This latest stunt however cannot be good for englands prospects and will only stereotype him with the refs such as the way Crouch has done before him and is now virtually unplayable for a whole game.

  • Comment number 13.

    I'm sure Rooney will curb his temper when the World Cup starts, he's a professional and would have undoubtedly been spoken to about it by the manager. Least it's good that he's scoring for England again, and it's also good to see Joe Cole having a good run out. I thought he played very well in that practice match and provides a bit of creativity where needed, which is refreshing compared to the negative play I saw from some other team members with their back passes all the time.
    It was depressing to see them having the ball on the counter attack only to end up passing it back to the goalie and lose the momentum.

  • Comment number 14.

    I don't think it matters what level of match Rooney is involved in - a kick about in the park or a World Cup Final - his temper can flare at any time. Players from other teams have publicly stated that their team will try and wind Rooney up and it is down to the player himself, but also importantly the Manager and Captain to curb his temper without diminishing the passion and effort that Rooney puts in to every game. With this in mind, the loss of Rio Ferdinand is a bigger blow because I'm not sure that Steven Gerrard possesses the necessary qualities to control Rooney; he is prone to bouts of petulance himself.

  • Comment number 15.

    shrimpkebab - half a blog about Rooney's behaviour, the rest about other stuff. Yet again we are talking about Rooney's temperament rather than his ability. Is it because the press have a vendetta against Rooney? Or is it more likely to be because he was booked in a friendly - IN A FRIENDLY FOR GOD'S SAKE - for his childish behaviour. At his age. It's pretty much in the script, yet again England fail to progress at a tournament because of the idiotic behaviour of one of their players. The reaction of international and champions league refs to Rooney is not as a result of press speculation, it's because he behaves appallingly to referees and to other players. Yes he's a winner but football also has a concept of sportsmanship and at times Rooney's sportsmanship is in short supply. Allow the red scales to lift from your eyes for a brief moment and see it as the referees do - if you spent an hour being insulted and abused by him you'd book him too.

  • Comment number 16.

    It was naive in the sense that World cup referees may think that over-sensitivity to Rooney's over-zealous is warranted and justified, but it is not. Several times in the same game Jamie Carragher saw the red-mist and was clearly berating the referee. To single Rooney out is a little naive on the referee's part.

    The officiating was not of the highest standard in that game and the players, especially Rooney, perhaps reflected this in their responses to the referee.

  • Comment number 17.

    Come on guys, we're not that good anyway. Rooney 'on the pitch' merely papers over the cracks that appear if he isn't on it!

  • Comment number 18.

    "..and the squad thrilled youngsters by staying behind long after the final whistle to sign autographs, with Rooney and David Beckham the main targets for their adulation. The public relations were perfect...."

    SO do you still think there is no reason to take Beckham along?!

    There always seem to be refs who want to make a name for themselves at world cups, I'm sure this one will be no different. Rooney is an obvious target. When you play in non-competitive matches there can be a very casual atmosphere, but you can still get fired up when you disagree with decisions, maybe more so than regular games because you know a red or yellow card is unlikely. Hopefully Rooney will pull his head in when the tournament starts.

  • Comment number 19.

    Rooney is a spoilt brat.He thinks he can do anything he wants and can get away with it. May be he should go and know Mr. humble and Mr. Down to earth some day. Just learn from Messi who is undoubtedly a better player than him and how he keeps mostly quiet during the games.I would really be surprised if in any one of the games he isnt sent off especially if its a very tense one.

  • Comment number 20.

    Phil - if Rooney were to cut his short fuse, surely it would just end up shorter?

  • Comment number 21.

    #3 - Rooney's temperament could have a massive impact on our hopes of decent progress in the World Cup. Even if it has been discussed before it is a worthy subject for a blog. These events happened a couple of days ago, so it is also topical.

    #7 - Are you genui9nely suggesting Capello is at fault because he has not come out with his starting line-up. Fact is, we already have a pretty goot idea of guaranteed starters: A Cole, Terry, Johnson, Lampard, Gerrard, Lennon, Rooney, and a pretty good idea of a couple of likely starters: King, Green. The bottom line is that in the positions where there are question marks, none of our players are performing to a level that makes them guaranteed starters. Injuries have also played a part in the disruption. I think that a few months ago Capello would have been able to tell us who he wanted as his starting 11, but injuries to Ferdinand, Barry and James and the poor form of Walcott have scuppered that.

  • Comment number 22.

    Everyone has always said that Rooney's temperament adds to his game; take it away and he's not the same player. Well if he can't be the same player by playing within the rules then he obviously isn't as good as we thought.

    Every player has a responsibility to play by the rules of the game. Anyone can cheat to gain an advantage, and what Rooney does is tantamount to cheating.

  • Comment number 23.

    Think people are getting ahead of themselves a bit- rememember this was a practise game, the difference is it was played in front of 12000 people and TV cameras. I dont really care how well they played as long as in the tournament itself they perform.

    For years everyone has been saying England cant win ugly, now they are everyone is complaining. A world cup is about a gradual progression through the games, rather than blasting everyone out, as any italian will tell you. Its 7 games in one month if you want to get to the final, I can gurantee you that the winners will not be brilliant in every game.

    As for Rooneys temper its part of his character and you can only hope he can be mature enough to keep it in check - He has played in enough big games to know better, but that flashpoint will come at some stage and we will have to see if he handle his emotions.

    I believe the team is limited and a realistic finish is the quarters, but with a bit of luck they could go further.

  • Comment number 24.

    Rooney has looked like he was losing it in the last three games, all of which were pretty meaningless. What is the guy going to do in the real deal against the USA when they will be going out to wind him up? It's great to be passionate, it's stupid to do the 'headless chicken'. I couldn't work out where he was playing yesterday. Striker, left wing, midfield, sweeper? He was all over the place. He really needs to be a bit more disciplined in the games that matter. Maybe a valium just before kick-off.

  • Comment number 25.

    Rooney is nowhere near as risky as he was in 2006. I am confident that he will behave. I'm not so confident that he will find his best form, but I'm praying he does!

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    Phil - I like your blogs. They generally make a lot of sense. However, you definiftely have something against Heskey and personally I only see Heskeys confidence issues as a result of how the media, like yourself, portray him.

    Capello clearly sees his worth, as do I. If he can help get the best out of our best player and arguably the most gifted footballer in the world, then his inclusion is paramount...I haven't seen anyone else do it.

    He could be so key to our challenge and I feel that the majority of fans who have little tactical knowledge of the game have influenced the media with their thoughts of Heskey. At the end of the day, its a team game. Just look at Inter for proof of that!

  • Comment number 28.

    "It's equally cliched for anyone to say "oh, it's part of his game" or "take that away and he's half the player", what a load of tish; get sent off and he's none of the player!" Rotunda10.

    I had to laugh at that, I was thinking exactly the same thing. That old one gets trotted out for every player that ever had a bit of competitive spirit....Pearce, Beckham, Rooney, and tons of others, they've all had that said about them. Its funny how the players change over the years, but the cliche's never do....word for word.

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 30.

    Everyone thinks this guy is a god. He has a right to get annoyed, and not only a right, but he will get annoyed. He is a young man. He has had a long season, he is probably on the border of exhaustion, he is going to snap a lot easier, with Frustration and pressure than he would at the start of the season. England make a habit of getting red cards in world cups, Why should this be any different?

  • Comment number 31.

    I should imagine every defender in the world cup knows Rooney is an easy to wind up scally...what with the referees also aware of his obnoxious behaviour I will be amazed if he doesnt get sent off in one of the up-coming games..
    Cant someone just tell him to grow up?...probably not so easy with an ill educated, over indulged, multi-millionaire...

  • Comment number 32.

    Rooney has played in 45-odd high-profile important competitive matches this season without letting his temper boil over.

    Then he plays in half of a training match where his team are being assaulted by a bunch of no-mark cloggers and getting no protection from a third-rate referee and he loses his rag, and everyone chooses to focus on that.

    Why?

  • Comment number 33.

    This is being taken WAY OUT OF CONTROL... This is Rooney!!! The ref has acted disgracefully here. OK Rooney might F and Blind a bit in games but for the ref to come out to the media is just CRAZY. The man is clearly making a name for himself as a big ref. But now Rooney's cards are marked all refs will be watching Rooneys lips waiting to sent him off.. It is how it has always been in World Cups...

    You can't take Rooneys firey character away from him. Not even Fergie can do that...

    People should stop dissing Rooney. He's Englands only hope... Lets all prey that Rooney finds the form he had at United and brings it to the World Cup.

  • Comment number 34.

    It is a sign of how low standards of behaviour have dropped in the premier league when you think that Rooney is by no means one of the worst culprits. We have allowed players to get away with continual abuse of referees which is then echoed by the managers. Although I would like to see a total clamp-down on this, it would be a shame if it happened to us in the world cup!

  • Comment number 35.

    If he can blow up, however briefly, in a game of such minor significance, what might he be tempted to do when the World Cup is at stake?
    -------------
    You assume he will get worse?

    Let's think about that shall we.

    In the world cup he KNOWS he will have to keep his cool, it will be a fully charged match. An opponent trying to wind him up will be ignored because of the implications of a card.

    In this friendly the players frankly just wanted to get it over with and get off the pitch fit, it didn't matter. An opponent trying to make something, wind up players or make "tough man" challenges will be seen as unecessary and stupid, there are no implications.

    Tough challenges and windups are expected in competitive matches, often in friendlies they are neither expected nor tolerated.









    To the clearly uninformed person who said "The Spanish, Italians and Brazilians all have settled, well established squads"

    You are talking rubbish mate. England already knew eight certain starters when they are all fit: Johnson, Terry, Ferdinand, Cole, Gerrard, Lampard, Barry and Rooney. That leaves just three names to add, one keeper, one winger and one striker (or winger if they play 4-5-1). The keeper fair enough should be known by now but the otehr two will be picked depending on opposition and tactics.

    Spain have similar questions about left-back (Arbeloa played there recently for pete's sake) and whether Alonso or Busquets will get the DM role.

    Brazil regularly choose their right back out of a hat it seems, nobody is sure whether Robinho will play or not.

    Most teams still have several positions that we are not sure about (though I bet the managers know, as does Capello, what their starting lineups will be.

  • Comment number 36.

    At the end of the day,yes it was just a warm up game but that still does not excuse Rooneys behaviour,his skill and talent which can win any game for England can only do so if he is on the pitch,hence the reason that usa players are going to target him [i.e ronaldo 2006]Roo has to show that any team who try that this time round will pay for it by letting his football do the talking not his mouth,if he just accepts it without berefting the refs then no doubt eventually the ref will take action against them also with luck it will only lift the whole team if they see Wayne just getting on with the game instead of throwing his dummy out of the pram.We need our best player if we hope to do anything in the tournament,without him its early flight home.

  • Comment number 37.

    In fairness everytime a crunch game comes around and England haven't been playing well the performance is always pulled out of the bag (think Zagreb). At the end of the day they still won by 3 goals

  • Comment number 38.

    The referee must be happy, he's had is 60 seconds of fame now. From what I heard about the game, he should focus on his own deficiencies.

    We all know that Rooney has a temper, however we also know that Ferguson has done a lot to reign that in. I don't think it will be a problem, and I hope that referees are wise to the opposition trying to wind him up.

    As for the game, what was anyone expecting? Players to be rushing around and throwing themselves about days before the competition starts? This was a glorified training session desgined to give the players expereince of the altitude and to give something to the community.

  • Comment number 39.

    Every player from all over the world gob off in games and they don't get a mention. It is unprofessional from the ref to come out with this. He is clearly trying to make a name for himself but he has now got all World Cup refs watching Rooneys lips.

    I suppose Rooney has to expect this being the biggest name at the world Cup. I'm sure Rooney will behave himself but I will be hard for him as he will be head hunted by teams and other refs who want to make names for themselves as 'I'm the ref that sent Rooney off'

  • Comment number 40.

    Nice to see the PR machine is working over time, you will need it.

  • Comment number 41.

    I don't disagree with anything Phil says but feel the need to point out that England's best performance in 2006 was with 10 men after Rooney got sent off against Portugal. Rooney's temper is only one of many, many factors to be considered.

  • Comment number 42.

    So another knee jerk negative reaction from you Phil implying that Rooney is going to lose his cool and risk losing the World Cup for England. Nothing about Glen Johnson continuing to demonstrate that he can't defend at all despite being first choice right back. Oh yeah I forgot, he plays for Liverpool.

  • Comment number 43.

    #19 .... so you have more respect for a player who handballs a goal in a competitive match than one who occasionally loses his rag?

    The "Messi is a saint" tag really needs to disappear. Anyone who watches him regularly knows he has a bad side.

  • Comment number 44.

    If proof were needed of the arrogance and egocentric nature of the modern day Premier League footballer, Wayne Rooney has just provided it in spades. His behaviour on the pitch underlies his fundamental belief that he has a divine right to deliver a volley of ill concealed abuse at anyone who doesn't accede to his view of proceedings. Then, given time after the match to cool down and reflect, he patronises the poor referee on the receiving end of his appalling behaviour with his shirt! How presumptious. For the record Wayne, the referee was only there to ensure fair play on the playing field and hard as it might be to understand, he may not necessarily be biased to the extent of coveting your shirt.

    When I post comments stating that England have no chance at this World Cup, I normally receive a fair share of comments to the effect that I should just get behind the team. Why for heaven's sake? Why would I want to get behind a team who are by their own actions largely inept and so utterly egotistical. If they all came down a peg or three and behaved normally and remembered how to conduct themselves when representing their country, I might be persuaded. There is no evidence of the latter yet though. In the world cups I have watched since 1974, I have yet to witness a team win the tournament on the basis of individual reputations. I have however seen some excellent teams who play for each other and are visibly aware of the responsibilities of representing their nation on a world stage.

    As for the alleged American strategy of winding up Rooney, who wouldn't? You don't really need to do much and Wayne will finish the job off. Petulance has a good recent history of stopping the England band wagon. Wilkins in 1986, Beckham in 1998 and now twelve years later who would bet against another ego getting in the way? Not me that's for sure.

  • Comment number 45.

    Wayne Rooney is a class player,a vital part of the England squad and the last thing they need is for him to be sent off or anything like that.Players we know will try to go for him and wind him up if they think he will react.He's a player of immense talent who should just walk away and them make the opposition pay by using that talent in the way he does best.Referees clearly are not going to be lenient so everyone's got to be careful,sadly sometimes the officials don't see it as a hard and contact based sport but one in which they make tackling difficult because of such intense rules at this level. WR needs to score goals play the way he's played all season and not get provoked by other players,he can do it and I think he will be a major player in this years competition.

  • Comment number 46.

    Phil

    You seem to be unsure what you want to say about yesterday's game. You highlight how insignificant the match itself was and yet try to draw conclusions about people's performances.

    Surely it was nothing more than a goodwill run out and that's that. (I think you could have expanded the blog to say how it seems the game itself was only scheduled because it seems that FIFA have priced many locals out of the market with the ticket prices, and yet FIFA still want the locals to see the 'stars' so that it can claim that it is spreading the beautiful game.)

    Anyway, as for Rooney and his behaviour, I think people should be calling a spade a spade here.

    All this 'tame the beast and you tame the player' business is nonsense in my opinion. There are rules that the game is played by and perhaps if he wasn't so indulged by the English media and Premier League referee's, the message might have got through a bit better by now.

    It is likely that referee's at the world cup will see a rule being broken and will deal with it accordingly. They are unlikely to think 'oh, it's Rooney and I don't want to tame the beast because it will tame the player'.

    Rooney is better behaved than in the past but if he can't abide by the rules, and as a result he is not on the pitch, then he is no use to the team.

  • Comment number 47.

    Crikey, quite a lot of these posts seem to suggest that he shouldn't go at all! Words like "liability", "too big for his boots", "spoilt brat" are not the words I would choose to describe our greatest talent. He will come good, or he will be sent off (again). Either way he remains indispensable. If I were Capello I would tell him privately that a stupid yellow card may result in his substitution. Give Wayne the responsability he thrives on at Utd and in his personal life and you invariably see the best of him. Good Luck England!

  • Comment number 48.

    Irish fan here and a few comments re Rooney and England.

    For me England have a very good chance of getting to the semi finals. After that it depends on a combo of luck and good performance. And it doesn't take a genius to work out that Rooney is key to this. While there's a lot of pressure and expecation on him, he's old enough and experienced enough now to deal with this. But all that counts for nothing if he manages to get himself sent off ad right now his chances for getting sent off and some point are high imo. Regarding the friendlies, they're practice matches and don't count for much. Capello i assume knows enough about the players, including those who have recently come in, before these practice matches. Well thats what he's being paid the big bucks for. I'll wrap up on my tip for the winner not to come from the usual suspects but from the following three: England, Holland, Portugal. Bring it on!!!

  • Comment number 49.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 50.


    Whoever plays England the coaches of opposing teams will tell their players to try & flare up Rooney hope he will endeavour to curb is temper & not get involved, he's class act so please don't react Rooney.


    I agree why oh why was Heskey chosen above Darren Bent ? I know that Capello is experimenting with different players & formations & wants to keep opposing teams guessing what will be his final choice for opening game

    I would prefer that he got the team his planning to play from the start against to play against his second choice & will note which players will be on the bench



  • Comment number 51.

    With or without Rooney, I can't see England struggling.

    An easy group.

    Then an easy game against a poor Serbia - who probably won't get that 2nd spot, so England will be up against Ghana!

    Followed by an easy game against a hapless France. Assuming that Domenech can get them that far - which is very doubtful.

    It won't be until the Semi Finals that England have a tough game.




  • Comment number 52.

    I am tearing my hair out as to why Heskey continuously defies the normal logic of what a striker is and gets into the team on the back of his ability to "hold the ball up". Is that quality even necessary?

    On the flip side, we do seem to win games when he is playing, and it is about picking the best team, not the best eleven players. But any quality Heskey brings to the team has to be measured against the fact that he is a striker who rarely scores.

  • Comment number 53.

    Rooney swears and it's front page on bbc football coverage? he does it week in week out and it's bot a problem, must be a slow news week!

  • Comment number 54.

    What rooney has is called passion, and it is this inner drive that sets the great players apart from the rest, the winners from the losers.

    It is a flaw but it is characteristic of many great footballers and sportsmen;

    Zidane, maradonna, best, cantona, keane, etc all had similar rooney-esque 'inner-fire' and they all had fairly respectable careers.

  • Comment number 55.

    So I am continually censored for criticising the issues that Phil focuses on and raising ones that he SHOULD focus on? So much for freedom of expression BBC. Disgraceful.

  • Comment number 56.

    I can't help thinking that England could have benefitted from playing a competitive match, in South Africa, against a "USA-like" team. Australia might have been a good choice.

    But instead...
    The USA and Australia played each other, in South Africa, on June 5th. (The USA won 3-1).

    Meanwhile, England have been preparing by playing Japan in Austria, and then allowing Wayne Rooney to go about "making friends with the locals" in his own style.

    Ummmm......
    Who makes the choice of these "preparation" matches, and what are they trying to prepare for?

  • Comment number 57.

    Rooney stamped on a player's nuts at the last World Cup. Of course Ronaldo winking was a far more serious offence than an assault to the chav hoards that follow England.

  • Comment number 58.

    Rooney's temperament has always been an issue. For all of his talent, he is, essentially, a thug and will remain so throughout his career and the rest of his life, probably. The fact that he can play with his heart on his sleeve is great, as it means that he tracks back and really plays with passion, but, as with a certain Mr. Gerrard as well, it can often cloud judgement, meaning that these players do stupid things. They may get away with it in the PL (something which I still believe to be a miracle/conspiracy), but they'll be under the microscope once the World Cup kicks off, so I'll be fairly certain that Capello will be having a few words with them to make sure that they keep themselves in check.

    However, what we've got to remember here is that this is a friendly, and it doesn't really matter a great deal. The performances aren't great because there's essentially nothing to play for, which means that there's no motivation other than to have a run out. As one of the posters on here's already said, aside from the blip against Ukraine, we have so far played extremely well in competitive matches, so I wouldn't really take this as a true indicator of things to come.

    Let's spare the judgement until the USA game, and then we can start really seeing just how well we can do.

  • Comment number 59.

    How can a significant proportion of English fans be seriously thinking they will win this tournament?
    If a manager of Capello's experience and pedigree has come to the conclusion that he is better off putting all his eggs in one basket and using Heskey to feed Rooney then he can't be holding out much hope privately.
    The stronger world teams must be confident that they can easily nullify Rooney knowing that Heskey can be pretty much left to his own devices without hitting a barn door.
    Add in a distinctly dubious ability to keep his demons buried and it doesn't exactly bode well.
    Don't get me wrong. They COULD win it but it will take a much greater slice of good fortune than other teams will need to take home the cup. It would be so nice to watch the tournament without the ludicrous hype and hyperbole. They are in the second tier of teams that could do well but more likely won't.

  • Comment number 60.

    why is this man in an england shirt this is our role model to the kids of this country he should have been given a red card oh well as always come on you samba boys

  • Comment number 61.

    Actually given the amount of games Roo has played this year, why is he being played in a friendly at all, With 3 days to go, if Capello hasn't sorted out his strike force by now, he is not as good as I thought, or the England strike force is rubbish. Either way roo should be resting, Give the others a run out and feel for the ball.

  • Comment number 62.

    It is right to mention Rooney's childishness and idiocy but the thing is it was right to do so for the last 4 years but for some reason it got ignored a lot. It is also right to mention Gerrard's growing immaturity towards referee's on the pitch, Terry and his delusional insistence he never fouls, Defoe's pathetic arm-waving, Cole A's snotty demenor, Carragher's futile snarling and Glen Johnson's inability to rationalise why the referee blows whistles. The truth is our squad is full of selfish fools and some of them unfortunatily won't be retiring once we get dumbed out.

  • Comment number 63.

    England have a record of going out on penalties but temperament or injuries has cost them even before the dreaded random kicking contest.

    1998 - Beckham sent off against Argentina - England go on backfoot and defend until penalties

    2004 EC - Rooney get injured. England go inept and go to penalties

    2006 - Rooney, helped by Ronaldo, gets sent off for losing his head (not literally of course!). England on backfoot and defend until penalites.

    So basically if Rooney gets sent off, or gets injured, England will lose on penalties as their gameplan will be shot.

  • Comment number 64.

    As I read through some of the comments this morning I saw what surely must be a typing error. Someone has written that David Beckham was signing autographs after the match. Is this true? If so, WHY???????? It is utterly absurd that an ex-player is present to further his own already astonishingly inflated ego. Lets get this straight. Beckham is an ex-England player. He has no place being there and management are quite wrong to encourage his presence. He undermines team spirit(he is not in the team), he provides an unwelcome diversion from the job in hand(the world cup for which he has not been selected) and worst of all he perpetuates the presence of the media circus which serves to further bolster the already considerable egos of those players who are there because they have been selected. Frankly, to hear of Beckham being there is embarrassing. Is he really so desperate for media attention? Someone should have a word in his shell-like ear and remind him that he isn't in the team any more. Will somebody please tell him. Enough is enough now. There are plenty of people who are passionate about the prospects of the England team in the tournament. They are called England supporters. If Beckham is so passionate, he should go and sit with them and cheer the team as non-players do. I'm glad to see that the baton of delusion held desperately by Gordon Brown for so long has been passed to an equally worthy recipient!

  • Comment number 65.

    44. At 10:04am on 08 Jun 2010, charlesburgessfry wrote:
    If proof were needed of the arrogance and egocentric nature of the modern day Premier League footballer, Wayne Rooney has just provided it in spades. His behaviour on the pitch underlies his fundamental belief that he has a divine right to deliver a volley of ill concealed abuse at anyone who doesn't accede to his view of proceedings. Then, given time after the match to cool down and reflect, he patronises the poor referee on the receiving end of his appalling behaviour with his shirt! How presumptious. For the record Wayne, the referee was only there to ensure fair play on the playing field and hard as it might be to understand, he may not necessarily be biased to the extent of coveting your shirt.

    When I post comments stating that England have no chance at this World Cup, I normally receive a fair share of comments to the effect that I should just get behind the team. Why for heaven's sake? Why would I want to get behind a team who are by their own actions largely inept and so utterly egotistical. If they all came down a peg or three and behaved normally and remembered how to conduct themselves when representing their country, I might be persuaded. There is no evidence of the latter yet though. In the world cups I have watched since 1974, I have yet to witness a team win the tournament on the basis of individual reputations. I have however seen some excellent teams who play for each other and are visibly aware of the responsibilities of representing their nation on a world stage.

    As for the alleged American strategy of winding up Rooney, who wouldn't? You don't really need to do much and Wayne will finish the job off. Petulance has a good recent history of stopping the England band wagon. Wilkins in 1986, Beckham in 1998 and now twelve years later who would bet against another ego getting in the way? Not me that's for sure.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    So it's apparently vitally important to play within the rules, but you're happy if players use underhand tactics or attempt to get others sent off if opponents are easy to wind up? "who wouldn't" as you remark.

    It seems to me that there's a remarkable contradiction in your post, which stresses the importance of sportsmanship and representing your country in the right manner but then includes that last paragraph.

  • Comment number 66.

    The best chance of getting anywhere serious in this tournament has actually reduced by taking Rooney - good as a qualifying group player, but nowhere near mature enough to cope with a tournament. I was berated for saying that we should have left Beckham home in 98 and Rooney home in 2006 for the reasons that a red card form them at a crucial stage is a racing certainty. It will be the same again and Capelleo has made a real 'schoolboy' error in takling him. Management is about taking brave decisions - he has got a few wrong here:
    - Stripping Terry of captaincy
    - Not taking Bent
    - Taking Ferdinand
    - Making Ferdinand captain
    Taking Rooney is the final evidence of inexperience in this level of management

  • Comment number 67.

    I don't know why the media gets on his back. Its called Passion! Its something the rest of the England team could do with. USA quite obviously need to put this pressure on Rooney because they know he will destroy their mediocre team.

  • Comment number 68.

    Rooney has to keep his cool otherwise we have no chance. Heskey couldn't hit a barn door all day long, Crouch has a good goals to games ratio but against minnows, he is not a world class striker and won't score against the likes of Brazil, Spain, France etc, Defoe has had an improved season but still unproven at this highest level. Capello surely should have brought 5 strikers although the fact that no name springs to mind (Bent as a long shot?) shows how weak we are up front, and just how desperately reliant on Roo we have become.

  • Comment number 69.

    Throughout his professional career, Rooney has set a disgusting example for youngsters with the vile language he vomits over referees. No wonder officials have quit the amateur game in droves, leaving the FA to struggle to recruit replacements. What is utterly reprehensible too is that so many referees in England have displayed weakness in allowing him to indulge his foul mouth.
    Let's hope this "phenomenal" footballer -- well, he's quite good domestically but has a really poor goalscoring record in internationals -- gets what he so rightly deserves in the World Cup, a red card in his first match. That might teach him a lesson he should have learnt all those years ago as a boy playing football.

  • Comment number 70.

    Everyone/sports person has an Achilles heel, Rooney's is clearly his temper, fair game for any team to play on. I hope he learns to control himself otehrwise he will get sen off again!

  • Comment number 71.

    We all know rooney swears at refs in the PL, and generally is made an exception, we don't seriously expect that to be a worldwide FIFA policy do we?

    If people keep making excuses for him he will never change.

  • Comment number 72.

    The South African kids need role models, Rooney will never be a role model he is a disgrace, a scalley, a chav who can't control his small brain. I sincerely hope England are not too dependant on him because he will let them down.

  • Comment number 73.

    Disappointing from Rooney but lets not forget that during Englands 9 WC quaifiers he didn't recieve a single booking.

  • Comment number 74.

    #54 thegoldenduck

    So, using your examples in order, what will happen to Rooney?

    1) Sent off in a world cup final for assaulting an opponent.
    2) Handling the ball into the net or taking performance enhancing drugs.
    3) Alcoholism and retiring from the game, mid-career.
    4) Attack a member of the audience.
    5) Set out to deliberately injure an opponent.

    All good footballers but their flaws are hardly something that should be considered aspirational I would say.

  • Comment number 75.

    Rooney is a spoilt brat who needs to show some respect and humbleness for his profession.
    He is a disaster waiting to happen and my feeling is that all the hype surrounding his potential will come back to haunt the England team!
    No one man is bigger than the team ethics and how Capello has succumbed to his bad behaviour shows that even he cannot tame the beast.
    I predict that Rooney will ruin the England party in SA.
    They should start with Defoe and Crouch who are as good a pair as anyone in the world.

  • Comment number 76.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 77.

    An in form, cool-headed Rooney is England's best, if not only, chance of doing well in the World Cup, imho. He is, I believe, England's only world class player. It seems to be accepted, that to win, a team needs 6 world class players. A lot of people see that, and pick out 6 players and attach 'world class' labels to them to make England a fit.
    England don't deserve to win with the players they've got!

  • Comment number 78.

    "Almost by default, it appears he will once again play the role of Rooney's straight man for England."

    As Homer Simpson once said:

    "Default! The two sweetest words in the English language"

    Heskey mustn't believe his luck at being picked.

  • Comment number 79.

    59. At 10:31am on 08 Jun 2010, PDAquinas wrote:
    How can a significant proportion of English fans be seriously thinking they will win this tournament?

    _______________________________________________________________________

    Well, I must say that this 'significant proportion' have yet to make themselves obvious to me.

    In fact, glancing over the posts here today, I've yet to see anyone express confidence in those terms.

    Which makes me wonder... what on earth are you talking about?

  • Comment number 80.

    "If you take away Rooney's propensity to get frustrated and go in for last ditch tackles, to abuse referees, to get sly kicks in, to argue with opponents and generally behave like a bad tempered lout, he won't be the same player". Yes, moron, he'll be a better player and more valuable to the team.

  • Comment number 81.

    This is one of the reasons Heskey was picked for the squad - he's a calming influence on Rooney.

    However Rooneys not the only one, both Terry and Lampard lose their tempers on the pitch often.

    The answer is simple if anybody kicks off sub them, our squad is good enough that nobody is expendable - even Rooney.

  • Comment number 82.

    Why do we play aginst these stupid poor teams days before the world cup.

  • Comment number 83.

    It is a great pity that England's strongest player is also their weakest link.
    Rooney as good as he is has an attitude problem which unfortunately has not been harnessed in a good way!
    He acts like a yob on the pitch and his foul language and attitude is going to be the downfall of this good England side.
    Watch and see!

  • Comment number 84.

    We all know Rooney has a short fuse but how every opinion of how much he has matured over the past season has changed based on a couple of below-par performances is a little bit knee jerk to be fair! ok, I'm not arguing with the fact that it only takes one moment of madness to see a player sent off (or not even that much if you look to Motta's sending off against Barcelona in the champs league!) but if anything Wayne has looked frustrated, at the teams performance as much of his own. It is a far better omen that he finished this game on a high with an assist and a goal than finishing with the poor behaviour.

    At the end of the day, if England play as well as they can, we'll see the right Wayne Rooney!

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    If, as reported , the USA intend to " wind up " Wayne Rooney does this not rank as unsporting conduct within the rules of the game and has the referee a discretion to take action if he becomes aware of this underhand tactic. For USA players to publicly admit they will target a player in this way brings the game into disrepute and FIFA should sanction them. These men are not Sportsmen and besmirch the decency of the game.

  • Comment number 87.

    maybe if the media didnt make such a song and dance about it then it wouldnt be the issue in the papers and online everyday..and when phil is blogging why we are out after the second round..maybe its the clowns in the media that look to ruin our chances with sensationalism rather than support them??..rooneys temperament is nothing new..so why make a story of it..!!!

  • Comment number 88.

    I am rugby through and through but I do watch quite a bit of football, especially around the CL/WC. I do hope England do well, but in terms of talking about tempers and what not, it is a mentality that exists within football, an overall lack of respect for the referee as well as the people around you, and the "I am so much better than you" egos.

    Rugby players possess exactly the same tempers but the way in which we go about it is different. There is respect for the referee accompanied by the fact that it is pointless shouting or screaming at him, or even trying to have a discussion. This is something we get told from the second we pick a rugby ball up. If you are annoyed about something you go to the captain and they bring up to the referee when the opportunity arises or at half time etc. When situations arise on a rugby pitch, you get penalised(most of the time) and you get a telling off, you say "yes sir" and trott off back to troop lines. Most of the time you completely ignore what they are saying until they start telling you, yellow is going to follow if you do it again. This isnt a lack of respect that some may point out, the ignoring element of it is due to the fact that you push the line as much as you can because as we all know, across all sports, refereeing isnt consistent so its one of the easiest ways to find out what they are penalising and what they are not. So lets pin it down as game scoping/awareness.

    Penalties are very much calculated in rugby, there is generally a much greater awareness of what is going on around you. Perfect example being, you are in the middle of the pitch, you know your defensive line is a broken and you need to regroup, you know the opposition are getting quick ball, so you kill it/hands on in a ruck situation, you give away the penalty, but if the chance is, you concede the try you are quite happy giving the 3 away instead of the 5 or 7.

    In terms of players winding you up, it goes on to a rediculous level in rugby as im sure it does in football and most other sports. In rugby the mentality is, I'll just make sure I absolutely smash him in the next tackle. Of course we have fights but there tends to be much more adrenaline flowing due to the sheer nature of the sport, and its mostly spats where its guys holding onto your shirt so you share words and a few digs and everyone is merry again.

    The overall point is, its a mentality issue. This is what needs to be drilled into players as they grow up and go through their respective stages. You may not agree with the referee but dont go shouting at him, it wont achieve anything. Do not waste time getting into stupid spats with players on the pitch, just think of the next time you blitz right past him or you make them look stupid with a sublime piece of individual skill... let them get wound up and let them worry about the game. If teams have to wind you up to try and gain control of a game then they have already lost. Keep your head, get on with it... yes be angry and all that good stuff, just learn to channel it.

  • Comment number 89.

    Does Rooney's yellow card count for anything? Like he if gets x more will he be banned from matches in the world cup?

  • Comment number 90.

    There is no question that Rooney has, shall we say, temper control issues, but to suggest that he needs to change his attitude is laughable unless you're not English.
    I would rather look at the attitude of the rest of the team; if only half of the eleven put out showed half of the desire to win that Rooney displays in EVERY international then maybe, just maybe, we could actually win it.
    How many teams at the tournament can boast to having one of the worlds best strikers, two of the worlds best midfielders, one of the worlds best central defenders and, arguably, the two best attacking full backs in the world (we'll ignore their defensive qualities for the sake of optimism). I can only think of Spain off the top of my head.
    So rather than being negative lets all hope that Lampard and Gerard bring their club game; lets hope that Terry leaves his personal baggage at home; lets hope that Cole and Johnson don't have to defend too much; then Rooneys temperment won't matter as players rarely lose their head when their team is playing well.

  • Comment number 91.

    Every team now facing England have the simplest of jobs of winding up Rooney so he starts swearing left right and centre and gets himself sent off. If this happens and England get knocked out, he should hang his head in disgrace. How awful was it to see such a talented player treat the referee in such a disgusting manner? Even in the premiership he has issues with the referee and needs to calm down. I can easily seem him getting sent off. Capello needs to reign him in NOW or risk losing the player. Rooney – Quality player, disgraceful attitude

  • Comment number 92.

    Even with the support of Giggs, Nani, Scholes and last season Ronaldo Rooney goes missing in big games against the very best defenders. In this England team against the top teams at the World Cup we've not got a cats chance in hell if we're soley relying on Rooney to win games.

  • Comment number 93.

    a blog about rooney's temper?! come ooon. i know he's good, but wazza will have to practically carry the england team on his own if you are to win this thing. you have a great team on paper, but have never managed to find the fluency that the spanish and the brazillians find so easily in their play. when you come up against world class defences your only hope of scoring goals will be a wayne rooney wonder moment, which is a long shot to say the least. so stop worrying about every little aspect of your "world cup aspirations" because let's face it semis is the best that you can realistically do!

  • Comment number 94.

    I’ve actually lost a lot of respect for Rooney. As many people have commented, what gives him his god given right to treat other human beings so disgracefully? If after the USA game he is still abusing the referee, drop him for the next game to give him a wake up call.

  • Comment number 95.

    I have to say i absolutely love it when Rooney gets going, i remember him a few years back getting annoyed against Newcastle when playing for United and then went up the other end of the pitch and scored a screamer.

    That said i do worry about him being sent off.

  • Comment number 96.

    In my view, this whole new 'looney' Rooney debate was quite deliberately and cynically kicked off by a former member of the US football squad, during a FIFA pre-world cup function, for his homesides advantage, in their first match.
    Yet he got away with that scot free, completely without any censure or public reprimand for the comments not being within the spirit of the FIFA game.
    Forget all the football for a moment, this is the side of the World Cup Game that I really deplore,...the deliberate priming of opinion by outsiders to gain World media advantage and pressurise opponents.
    It stretches as far back as the days of World Cup 1970 in Mexico, when the late (Sir) Bobby Moore was then deliberately 'framed' in a shoplifting scam, in an attempt to 'shame' him and get him sent home. He wasnt, but very few ever doubted it put a huge pressure on the broad shoulders of his.
    So lets keep the game of football 'honest' and only on the pitch. Send the 'simulators' to either to the RSC at Stratford upon Avon, the 6 metre board or perhaps the netball court.

  • Comment number 97.

    I think the noteworthy part of this latest outburst is that it isn't so much the opponents that are winding Rooney up, it's the lacklustre performance of his own teammates that seems to be frustrating him. This was evident in the Japan game as well and doesn't bode particularly well for team spirit in the camp if things don't quite go according to plan.

  • Comment number 98.

    I think most of you are missing the point: Respect the referee.

    Thats what this is about. In a country such as Italy if you somuch as look at a ref wrongly you get booked. In England you seem to able to pull off alot more before getting booked.

    Dont expect the same treatment in the WC as you get in the EPL

  • Comment number 99.

    I watched the match yesterday and yes i felt Rooney was abit frustrated, but it makes sense i guess when he has played a long season of 50 odd games. i just hope his injury near the end of the season gave him abit of time to rest.

    In the game yesterday he jumped into a player and was blinding and f*ing at the ref, this still wasnt one of his more angrier games but i do think his anger was to do with fact he hadnt scored for a while. Maybe his tiring season and injury has made him have abit of a rusty period and hes trying to get the form he had mid season and is annoyed he hasnt got it back yet.

    I think his form will come back though as i saw glimpses of his genius yesterday and his goal will surely give him confidence to get more goals in the next 3-7 games. If you look at the Mexico and Japan game compared to yesterday Rooney wasnt involved much in them two matches. Yesterday he was more involved.

    The only thing i was really disapointed about was that buildup run between Rooney, Lennon and Heskey where Rooney should have shot and scored but instead passed it to Heskey then Heskey ballsed it up even more by passing it to Lennon who had no chance in 'ell from his position. It was like they were trying to do an arsenal and pass it in the net.

    As for Rooney and his temper; he needs to cool down abit but still show passion and strength but not be wreckless at the same time. The ref wasnt first class anyway imo, i think everyone noticed the ref made mistakes in the game, even carragher was angry with him. i think other countries still see Rooney as the Rooney 4 years ago, Rooney's attitude and behaviour has improved since 2006.

    As for the guy above who said Capello should warn Rooney that if he gets yellow for something stupid your right he should be substituted. Rooney needs to think of the consquences of showing anger and getting carded. i think Capello will mention this though, he seems less of a yes man than the two previous managers and wont play Rooney if hes in a bad tempered moment.

  • Comment number 100.

    64. At 10:41am on 08 Jun 2010, charlesburgessfry wrote:
    As I read through some of the comments this morning I saw what surely must be a typing error. Someone has written that David Beckham was signing autographs after the match. Is this true? If so, WHY???????? It is utterly absurd that an ex-player is present to further his own already astonishingly inflated ego. Lets get this straight. Beckham is an ex-England player. He has no place being there and management are quite wrong to encourage his presence. He undermines team spirit(he is not in the team), he provides an unwelcome diversion from the job in hand(the world cup for which he has not been selected) and worst of all he perpetuates the presence of the media circus which serves to further bolster the already considerable egos of those players who are there because they have been selected. Frankly, to hear of Beckham being there is embarrassing. Is he really so desperate for media attention? Someone should have a word in his shell-like ear and remind him that he isn't in the team any more. Will somebody please tell him. Enough is enough now. There are plenty of people who are passionate about the prospects of the England team in the tournament. They are called England supporters. If Beckham is so passionate, he should go and sit with them and cheer the team as non-players do. I'm glad to see that the baton of delusion held desperately by Gordon Brown for so long has been passed to an equally worthy recipient!
    ____________________________________________________________________

    Total rubbish written there. Im no Beckham flagwaver but just think who the manager of the England team is? Do you really think he will put up with distractions during this tournament?

    Capello has asked Beckham to be there because of his worth to the team and be able to give assistance when required. He seems to be a popular member within the squad and what is wrong with that, its a perfect role to be a liasion and I guess to take some heat away from the players from a media point of view.

    Beckham will not be the reason if England dont perform, so look for other more valid excuses - IF that time arises.

 

Page 1 of 3

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.