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Rooney reduction shows his England importance

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Phil McNulty | 12:56 UK time, Thursday, 8 December 2011

Wayne Rooney needed a tonic to lift the spirits the morning after the night before in Basle, and it was provided after a 100-mile journey through the Swiss night to Nyon.

Uefa's decision to downgrade Rooney's three-match ban for kicking Montenegro's Miodrag Dzudovic in England's final Euro 2012 qualifier in Podgorica may not lighten Sir Alex Ferguson's mood after Manchester United's Champions League exit, but Fabio Capello will be a happy man.

After what was a relatively brief appeal process at Uefa's headquarters, England's coach can now bring some clarity to his planning for next summer and testing tasks against France, Sweden and co-hosts Ukraine as the penalty for Rooney's red card was reduced.

The new punishment also clears Capello's head about whether to actually take Rooney to Poland and Ukraine, a decision which may have been less straightforward had he been eliminated from the entire group stage.

Rooney will now, injury permitting, join the squad primed for what Capello hopes will be a successful conclusion to his career as England coach.

Fabio Capello and Wayne Rooney

After being drawn in a testing group for Euro 2012, Capello will be glad of Rooney's availability. Photo: Getty

The Football Association has already drawn criticism, notably from Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, for launching the appeal - but fixed penalties in England are in contrast to Uefa's more flexible approach, as director of communications Adrian Bevington was swift to point out.

Rooney's form this season has been mixed, but the presence of the player, Capello, FA lawyers and the player's representative Paul Stretford was almost like a public demonstration of his importance to England.

BBC Sport football expert Mark Lawrenson told me he believes the right level of punishment has now been reached - and Rooney's presence around England squad could have a variety of benefits.

"If they go into that game against Ukraine needing a win or a draw to go through they can call on him," said Lawrenson. "And the fact that he is there might just inspire some big performances in the first two games from players who don't want to get left out of the third one."

This is the perfect summary of why the FA went into bat for Rooney in such numbers and why Capello will be so relieved to have the striker available as part of his England weaponry, even if it is only guaranteed for one game at this stage.

For all the justified question marks about his temperament, Rooney remains the one attacking player capable of giving England's play an element of fantasy, of the unexpected.

The danger could be that Rooney's watching brief for England's first two games may shorten his fuse further when he is free to play, but, quite simply, he gives Capello's side a dimension and threat they do not possess without him.

Rooney's ability to link midfield and attack is also crucial to the tactical flexibility Capello may need to employ if England progress to the later stages of Euro 2012.

The former Everton man must now return to Old Trafford, swallow his disappointment at being deprived of Champions League football for the rest of the season and concentrate on improving club form in time to serve his country next summer.

Big tournaments have not agreed with Rooney. He suffered a serious foot injury after inspiring England to the Euro 2004 quarter-finals and made a belated entry at the World Cup in Germany two years later before getting sent off as England went out at the same stage.

And his World Cup in 2010 was a tale of unrelenting misery, bored off the pitch and lifeless on it, only claiming headlines for an ill-judged verbal attack on England's fans into a television camera.

By curtailing his punishment, Uefa has given Rooney the opportunity to make an impact on its showpiece - England and Capello will hope he grasps it.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    It's good news for England, undoubtedly.

    But, the process has been a stain on the FA.

    The FA's "excuse" for appealing Rooney's ban, is that UEFA have a different disciplinary proceedings, and presumably, rules. That is, UEFA's rules are extremely flimsy. In fact, UEFA are a terrible organisation when it comes to discipline. UEFA don't allow any appeals for red cards, even if the most ridiculous decision has been made. Yet they do allow retrospective action to be taken. But I digress.

    The FA clearly believe, as their rule states, that violent conduct is worthy of a three match ban. If they believe that, as is their right, then they need to stick by this principle. They never accepted the punishment either because they thought it was unfair (they surely couldn't have thought this, as they'd have applied the same punishment), OR, they thought they could get the ban reduced after some random appeal.

    Now, this surely has to has one of two ramifications. Firstly they either scrap the three match ban rule for violent conduct, or they scrap the rule against frivolous appeals, meaning any appeal may be allowed to be heard, no matter how ridiculous.

  • Comment number 2.

    It is good news for England although it may not make too much of a difference. We will more than likely finish second in the group and face Spain in the Quaters so Rooney may only have 2 games this summer. However I do really hope that England can make progress by making the semi's and then carry that on through the WC qualifiers with our promising young players. It's not all doom and gloom!

  • Comment number 3.

    "The Football Association has already drawn criticism, notably from Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, for launching the appeal - but fixed penalties in England are in contrast to Uefa's more flexible approach, as director of communications Adrian Bevington was swift to point out."

    My understanding, UEFA aren't.

    Remember a certain incident with Van Persie, just 9 months ago? If you don't, it is on the BBC Sport website.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/9419375.stm

    "Van Persie will not be able to appeal against his sending-off.
    Under Uefa's rules, a referee's decision to show a yellow card can only be challenged on the grounds on mistaken identity."

    Hardly more flexible, is it?

    Still not convinced how "flexible" UEFA are? The rules state:

    Rule 23.04 "23.04 A protest against a caution or expulsion from the field of play after two cautions is
    admissible only if the referee’s error was to mistake the identity of the player. "

    http://www.uefa.com/multimediafiles/download/competitions/euro/91/87/57/918757_download.pdf

    Now the difference with the Rooney incident, is that it wasn't 2 bookings. It was a straight red card. But UEFA more flexible? When they want to be.

  • Comment number 4.

    Whether the rules differ or not it is still the wrong stand for the FA to take, how can they stick by their rules when they have followed this path. Rooney has been out of form for a while now and with mediocre strikers and midfielders playing with him in the national side this will not improve.

  • Comment number 5.

    As far as i can tell this is just another BBC loves united post !! Rooney is loved by the BBC and united supporters but any other supporter can see the probelms he can cause in a squad where he is not playing.

    You even underline the probelm yourself, it has not happened once but at all the big tournaments he has been too. I quote you "belated entry at the World Cup in Germany two years later before getting sent off as England went out at the same stage" says it all to me really he has never done a David Beckham, an Alan Shearer or even a Steven Gerrard and pulled England or his club side together and beaten the best; when we are down he seems to drag us down further and epitomise why England are not a loved nation which we use to be. Rooney will never be like or loved or even respected like Beckham or Shearer are by fans the world over regardless of club loyalties.

    I am a very worried England fan

  • Comment number 6.

    Dalglish should be disciplined for passing comments about EUFA. While I do not agree with Rooneys action, Dalglish should remember that if Rooney was playing for Liverpool he would not even had received a yellow card, probably have had the other player booked for unsporting behaviour.

  • Comment number 7.

    I as an Italian, cant wait for next summer, this is great news for England, no?

    a boost coming into the 3rd game is what the team will need maybe and Wayne can give you that. I hope Sturridge get a chance too.

    does the Euro's clash with the Olympics??

  • Comment number 8.

    Phil, can you explain this to me. The FA bans Rooney for swearing. Then the same FA pleads with UEFA to be reduce the penalty for Rooney for completely unprovoked violent conduct.. Not for a couple of words said in the 'heat of the moment'. No. For kicking a Monteneran player..
    Ever wondered why the English FA are considered clowns around the world?

  • Comment number 9.

    Thanks Nike!

  • Comment number 10.

    This is terrible news for England. This means Rooney is guaranteed to be in the squad despite never performing to his best for England. Admittedly his best is phenomenal, but if he doesn't achieve it then why pick him over people who will given their all every moment and not react in petulant, childish and vicious ways when things aren't going their way. England's answer to Tevez.

    But more than that, I think his ban should have been upheld purely because his behaviour was violent, unprovoked and entirely unjustifiable. I'd like to see players guilty of such unsportsmanlike, unprofessional and unethical conduct given lengthy bans from all competition, not this shameful pittance. If it had been me I would have upheld his three match ban in international competition and given him a six week general ban, during which time his club would be free to withdraw his pay. That'll make him think twice (or possibly just once, which would still be an improvement) before he does it again.

  • Comment number 11.

    Number 6...how wrong you are. It is blatant hypocrisy of the FA to pursue an appeal for Rooney. Whatever happened to respecting the ref? If it was say, someone like Gary Cahill, or Theo Walcott even, do you really think that the FA would pursue a reduction as much as they have with Rooney?

    The FA should be consistent. Much talk about Suarez lately...I am a Liverpool fan, but if Suarez is guilty of anything then he must face the music. He should take it on the chin, and learn not to do it again,and then move on. He is a world class player, but needs to work on his temperament.

    Rooney, still has yet to learn to control himself. I would not be suprised to see him come back in the 3rd group game, by getting himself sent off or booked at least (which would make him an easy target to wind up in the next round, should England qualify).

    Of course England have to take Rooney, just to have differing options, but it could be that the FA may come to regret this appeal, because of Rooney`s temperamnent.

  • Comment number 12.

    Rooney will always be a liability to England.

    Not fussed about his ban being reduced as by the time he is available the likes of Welbeck and Sturridge will show that Rooney is not needed in attack. The movement of these two is already far more threatening to defences than Rooneys.

    With Wilshere goining to be starting in the creative role in the middle where could Rooney go? He is not clever enough to see the runs that Welbeck/Sturridge make and with the quality of Wilsheres passing they have the chance to run riot behind defences.

    Rooneys pace would be disasterous in an attack that would involve the likes of Young/Wilshere/Walcott/Sturridge/Welbeck.

    He may get a cameo role but wont be a starter for any games in the tournament, baring injuries.

    I think this was more of a show for the FA to get UEFA to take a step back and not for Rooney.

  • Comment number 13.

    Its a blessing for the Manchester teams to be out of the Champions League. Means there are going to be less games for Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Danny Welbeck, Gareth Barry, James Milner, Chris Smalling, hence they won't be so tired when the Euro 2012 begins. Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini will rotate their squad in the Europa League.... so these guys can get a breather and be a bit fresher come June....

  • Comment number 14.

    Also, a valid point made by Kenny Dalglish in his press conference:

    ""We accepted that there's no point appealing because if you appeal, you're not allowed representation either from the club and certainly no representation from the referees, so you could understand why we never appealed."

    Yet the FA have been, with the player and England manager, building their case against UEFA. And at the "hearing" were allowed to attend and have their say on the case. Hopefully the FA can learn from UEFA... I doubt they will.

  • Comment number 15.

    Almost every article about this has trotted out the statistics of how England performs with and with Rooney. They then follow up with how important he is. The statistics show England wins 70% of their games WITHOUT Rooney vs 60% with him. Why is no one picking up on this? Why are all the 'journalists' pedling the same 'he has to go' mantra?

    Leaving Rooney behind isn't like leaving Messi as he's not such a great player. Plus he's a liability - Messi doesn't get sent off needlessly.

  • Comment number 16.

    Why would you want Rooney in your squad for an international? His form has always been poor and other players who may actually care get left out. As far as #6's comment about Dalglish, how is this any different than what SAF has been doing for years? He may well need a disciplining at some point, but not for pointing out hypocrisy as it pertains to his own player. You're free to hate Liverpool, but don't let that cloud your judgment of the FA.

  • Comment number 17.

    13.
    At 17:37 8th Dec 2011, desertwalker wrote:

    Its a blessing for the Manchester teams to be out of the Champions League. Means there are going to be less games for Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Danny Welbeck, Gareth Barry, James Milner, Chris Smalling, hence they won't be so tired when the Euro 2012 begins. Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini will rotate their squad in the Europa League.... so these guys can get a breather and be a bit fresher come June....

    ----------------------------

    Manchester United get dropped into the Europa league which has the same number of games left.

    The only difference is that the players you mentioned will not be playing against the best in club football but against inferior opposition. Which is not what you want players of your nationl side to be doing before a competition.

    If they were found wanting in the better standard competition how are they going to improve against sides that do not cut the grade to play in Europes premier competition?

    It truly is bad news for England that the Manchester clubs are out of the Champions League.

  • Comment number 18.

    I hope this frivolous appeal comes back to haunt the FA.

  • Comment number 19.

    The FA continue to look like complete idiots.

    This is the same Wayne Rooney who smashed Wigan's James McCarthy round the face with his elbow?

    The Wayne Rooney who swore several times down a TV camera, with millions of viewers (many of whom would have been under 10) watching on, only eight months ago?

    The same Wayne Rooney who now decides to kick a fellow professional because he's having a frustrating night.

    Yet this is somebody the FA are bending over backwards to defend? Is this how desperate the English national team has become?

    The decision to ban him for the entire group stage may have been harsh in normal circumstances, but it's the build up of events over the past two years that Rooney has not been adequately punished for, which makes the decision to appeal his ban even more laughable.

    He never learns. He will say the same things time after time. About how sorry he was, or it was the heat of the moment. Will he stop? No. Can he stop? No.

    If this had been Bobby Zamora, would the FA be flying out with Fabio to plea his ban be reduced? I think we all know the answer.

    Kenny Dalglish was spot on, and I hate the bloke.

  • Comment number 20.

    No. 12 - 'With Wilshere goining to be starting in the creative role in the middle where could Rooney go? He is not clever enough to see the runs that Welbeck/Sturridge make and with the quality of Wilsheres passing they have the chance to run riot behind defences.'

    This is a pretty ridiculous statement, temperament aside, Rooney's vision and passing is one of the best in the Premier League behind David Silva, now Scholes has retired of course.
    Also Rooney would fit in either by playing him as the main striker with (if fit) Gerrard Parker and Wilshere playing in midfield behind him. Gerrard in the past has shown great understanding with Rooney and despite an overall shocking World Cup our best chances or moments of creativity came when those two linked up, granted that there was not that many thanks to a rubbish all round performance by England.

    He could also play behind the striker where myself many other believe is his best position. He could replace Gerrard, be played in the No. 10 role and have Parker and Wilshere played behind him, and with Bent/Welbeck/Sturridge as teh striker in front of him.
    Both these formations to me look like they would suit Rooney and get the best out of him, which would do England no harm at all.

    I don't believe that we'll win the Euros but I think Rooney's reduced ban could help England at least perform well in a tournament for the first time in a while.

  • Comment number 21.

    It shows the pathetic state of English football that we are held ransom to the talent of a spoilt thug. Contrary to what the media want us to believe, we have no talent pool. The PL is a foreign competition, full of foreign players, many second rate. Theres too many foreign managers here and foreign ownership of PL teams is a disgrace.

    I weep for the future. Hopefully some sort of correction will take football back to the time when ticket prices were affordable, fans could relate to players and there was an abundance of english talent in an english league. Until then, we will be held ransom to the talent of some beast, who cant be tamed.

  • Comment number 22.

    What a shame that the powers that be can't maintain a stance. The game is riddled with unpunished infringements of the rules against a background of popular demand for players taking responsibility for their actions. Dangerous tackles , foul and abusive language , violent conduct should all be punished within the game. To backtrack on Rooney only serves to undermine the sanctions that are available. In respect to having Rooney available to play , do we need him ? can we afford to play him given his petulant track record ? I think not.

  • Comment number 23.

    19.
    At 17:55 8th Dec 2011, LukeWHUFC wrote:


    The FA continue to look like complete idiots.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well written, I agree with your comments.

  • Comment number 24.

    Rooney reduction does NOT help England.
    We have done well in the last couple of games without him and I can still recall with disgust his South Africa performances.

    yes he is a class player - when on song, but do we have to take the risk of putting him in the team and then wondering if he is going to turn up?

  • Comment number 25.

    Rooney or no Rooney, england haven't a hope at the finals next year.
    France to win the group and england to exit the tournament after three games.
    Too many english plodders in the squad.

  • Comment number 26.

    The same reason Ireland will be heading home early.
    Too many english plodders in that squad aswell.

  • Comment number 27.

    Wayne Rooney's UEFA Community Service punishment - spend a day with a group of under-achieving, socially irresponsible young males, many of whom have serious relationship, discipline and behavioural issues. He'll be helping them to cope with the crushing disappointment, rejection and ridicule that their lack of skills and shameful behaviour often brings.

    Yep - he'll be joining up with the England squad for the game against Ukraine.

  • Comment number 28.

    Almost every article about this has trotted out the statistics of how England performs with and with Rooney. They then follow up with how important he is. The statistics show England wins 70% of their games WITHOUT Rooney vs 60% with him. Why is no one picking up on this? Why are all the 'journalists' pedling the same 'he has to go' mantra?
    ---------------------------

    I picked up on this and then my computer died so I couldn´t post.

    I can only imagine that Rooney plays in more competitive games which England are more likely to get beaten in, but yes, it is not a great statistic.

    I like Rooney as a player for Man U but the blind loyalty of people like Phil McN is startling, he is inconsistency personified, why does he have a devine right to be in the team?

    I would suggest that England need a new approach, players like Wilshere, Sturridge, Walcott, Lennon and a few others should surely be allowed an extended chance. Players like Lampard, Barry, Milner should be nowhere near the team. Terry should go, Ferdinand has been player way below his best.

    Rooney should definately be an England player, but I just don´t buy into this idea that he is so vitally important.

  • Comment number 29.

    :rolls eyes:
    :bangs head:

    Pub team
    plodders
    Pub standard
    Basset hound
    sky sports propaganda milk
    Scintillating spanish pros
    'the fox and ferret'
    aficionados
    behave yourself!

  • Comment number 30.

    This is a pretty ridiculous statement, temperament aside, Rooney's vision and passing is one of the best in the Premier League behind David Silva, now Scholes has retired of course.
    Also Rooney would fit in either by playing him as the main striker with (if fit) Gerrard Parker and Wilshere playing in midfield behind him. Gerrard in the past has shown great understanding with Rooney and despite an overall shocking World Cup our best chances or moments of creativity came when those two linked up, granted that there was not that many thanks to a rubbish all round performance by England.

    ---------------------

    Rooney has been tried and tested in all those positions and to no avail in many games.

    Considering his current form and how well England do without him he really is not the player that England need. Can we really trust him to put that one quality game he has out of every 20 when England need it?

    When he is not playing, England look far more balanced, spread the play far better and are far more willing to try different things.

    I dont know if its his United pals in the England squad that cause that, as for most parts they only ever pass to him even if hes in a useless position with far better options open to them.

    The number of times I have seen Walcott make a dart behind the full back only to have to pull up as the likes of Carrick/Lampard play the ball inside to Rooney surrounded by two players is countless. He brings a very one dimensional game to England.

    England play much better with width and whenever Rooney plays they never have it.

  • Comment number 31.

    well done! Though Englads chances are mnimal i believe the lads can give a go.well sturridge should keep his head up hell be decent then,jack wilshere hope he makes it.slot it welbeck ,bent misses more chances than bendtner. give youngsters a chance starting line up for quarters
    hart.
    walker. cahill. terry. cole
    gerard parker wilshere
    sturridge welbeck rooney

  • Comment number 32.

    WHAT'S BETTER?

    A striker than can score two hatricks in a row and look like the best player in the world (Rooney) and then not score for two months or a striker that scores generally one goal in a match but manages to do it consistently and you'd expect them to score everytime they play (Sturridge, Bent).

    Gutted Rooney is back nnnnnnnnnnnoooooooooooooo. We all know he will flop and show his inconsistency

  • Comment number 33.

    It shows the pathetic state of English football that we are held ransom to the talent of a spoilt thug.
    -------------------

    Must disagree, even as a Gooner who hates Rooney.

    the guy is one of the players most targeted for abuse by fans and players in world football, there are players that react far more and far worse. When he plays well we describe him as a fighter and someone who never gives up, every club needs a player like him.

    I remember in a match last season between Barca and Madrid where Ramos was guilty of a shocking kick at Messi, no attempt at all to touch the ball. A far worse offense, yet he os often described as the epitome of Madrid´s desire to win.

    I have nothing against Rooney as a player, I just don´t think he is as great as eing made out.

  • Comment number 34.

    I encourage anyone who realises Soul_Patch is a fool who is making ‘ignorant’ points because he gets a mild kick out of trying to provoke people to read this, partly because it owns him. Some of these comments have been made in a previous blog, but they are relevant again here.

    As a pre-warning, this comment is in no way a defence of the England national team, who continue to disappoint and play badly. I find start by saying that, after reviewing many of Soul_Patch-Something_Or_Other_Villa’s comments on this forum, I find them rather lacking in substance and style. He is the forums ‘anti-Spain’ as it were. Anyway, the first issue I have is with comments made on November 13th at 16.03 on a blog about England. The user uses the sentence ‘They {England} benefited from having Belgian officials with a grudge against the ‘old country’. This is furthered by the sentence the ‘Belgians won’t let bygones be bygones’ and England’s win ‘come courtesy of petty Belgians’. I take issue with the accusation that dedicated professionals, such as the officials in a national friendly, are biased or perhaps even ‘corrupt’. I find it very subjective and illogical to suppose all Belgians, or in particular, these Belgian officials, thought to ‘make’ Spain lose by giving decisions England’s way so that they could delight in the loss of a former sovereign state. It is extremely reckless and to determine that ‘all’ Belgians won’t let ‘bygones be bygones’ and hold a grudge against the Spanish. I do not believe that to be so at all. If I ever meet the officials and get to know them personally, only then can one decide if they hold a grudge torward the Spanish. It is a sweeping generalization, which should wholeheartedly be condemned. It is much like saying that England can never have a German referee because of the past history in the War. Or perhaps a Russian official can never officiate a game involving the USA because of the Cold war, or even that a referee born in Madrid won’t be able to impartially ref a game involving Espanyol. It is an incredibly naïve statement which borders on stereotyping. 

In addition, you seem to be clearly trying to inject futile humour into your repetitive points. If I wanted to hear the same news over and over again, I’d turn on and listen to the ‘squirting’ from the ‘evil tentacles’ of Sky Sports news, but I’d rather not become so bored.

  • Comment number 35.

    Rooney is a world class player and the only player who can provide a technical spark from a FORWARD position which the other strikes can't do as much in the same degree- it can make a crucial difference in winning a tournament.

    However the more pressing matter for England, with the exception of Wilshere who might not be going if he is always injured and never playing, you have no creative midfielder. Look at Tottenham, they are a different force when Modric is playing. Scott Parker needs that kind of partner in midfield for England, but you do not have that type player. So in that sense Rooney won't make MUCH of a difference in the outcome in your style of play, since he definitely doesn't suit a playmaker role- and for those who think otherwise don't know what they are talking about. Rooney is not a creative genius- he is a skillful, hardworking, technical, all action genius- but no Zidane or Scholes.

    However, I think Capello is playing it smart here- he knows very well that you can win competitions without these "creative geniuses"- more difficult but possible and he likes Rooney's tireless hard work on the pitch. I think Capello will get England to play with more purpose, but also with more discipline. Disciplined sides have won cups- I mean look at Greece- and no one will admit they had great players not even the Greeks themselves. But their defensive tactics served the players to a tee.... they all knew their roles- plus they rode their luck and voila they were European champions. The players need to listen to Capello and do as told and they might do really well.... but confidence is another important thing... and I am never too sure with England's confidence when they begin playing these tournaments....

    However if England had a Xavi, Iniesta, Silva, Fabregas, Mata type player it would look good, but since they don't Spain are my favourites.... good luck guys- just not against us

    Greetings from a Swedish Austrian

  • Comment number 36.

    Wow,

    Now we are certain to win the Euro's.

    Rolls eyes

  • Comment number 37.

    I may be in the miniority of Englishman but I'm un-happy that this ban has been reduced and actually wish he wasn't in the Squad at all.

    When he's in the squad, its seems that he's this 'superstar' and everything has to revert round him. Usually this is when most of the poor performances occur!

    In the two friendlies, there wasn't this 'superstar' in the team which seems to affect the team performance. No one player was above the. Despite being out-played against Spain, the team managed to win and do what was required in a more controlled manner. I'm betting had Rooney been in the squad, the atmosphere would of been very different and we wouldn't of won. Two wins against the World and European Champions and a nation who'd been our bogey team for 43 years. A good mixture of the team, no Rooney and only one of the so called 'golden generation' actually did work for once. It was nice for once to see some youngsters out.

    Granted friendlies don't mean anything and are certainly can't gauge a team. Though there has been some friendlies which Rooney has been involved in and it has gone haywire! Plus it doesn't mean we will win the tournament. We would need to drastically change before that could be possible. We could have a few games like against Spain but eventually in a tournament, it would catch up with us (like anyone).

    Without Rooney, England has done better than with him.

    Plus has Rooney got any commitment to England at all?
    Two World Cups and has done nothing. Granted he was injured but didn't make nearly enough effort to actually want to get back.
    The selfish outburst after the Algeria match
    Clearly committed to Club than Country.
    Even though some do fake saying, never said how much it means to play for his country.
    He seems to want to stick to his background more than playing for England (no commitment and doesn't sing the national anthem etc) and personally, I feel he gets a kick out of playing for England and playing poorly.
    His discipline is attrocious and no matter how much he says he will get better, it doesn't and hence you never know when he's gunna make a bad move and the team suffers for it.

    So as stated, I actually wish he wasn't playing for England at all, never mind in the Euros. It would be less stressful without him.

  • Comment number 38.

    Only you've said that Shadow Warrior. Roll those little eyes all you like son.

  • Comment number 39.

    I live on the continent and not every negative thing they say about the English football team and the organization is wrong.
    Some of their comments.

    The F.A. are a bunch of hypocrites........TRUE.
    Wayne Rooney is NOT repentant and will be sent off again both for his club and his country........TRUE.
    The English live in this deam world that they will win the world cup.......TRUE
    The English are a bunch of whiners who think that they know better than anyone how to organize the game when their own administration is a shambles........ABSOLUTELY TRUE

  • Comment number 40.

    this is a bit of a joke. I wouldn't take him anyway, he's not performed at a tournament for england since 2004 and is always a liability to get sent off (as this very ban proves). Also tournament's go by so quick, that if you manage to get through the group and find a winning formula, you wanna keep that and carry it right through, not suddenly change.

  • Comment number 41.

    Rooney is nothing more than a massively over rated player. He is mediocre for Man United and he is really poor for England. I am disappointed that his ban has been reduced. Wayne Rooney is a complacent so-and-so that has never achieved anything on a major international level. Remember the SA 2010 "that's loyal supporters" incident. I rest my case.

    P.S. i am trying to recreate the old 606 at my blog. Feel free to comment on this topic at http://bit.ly/tw6Bdj

  • Comment number 42.

    He kicked another player-violent conduct-that's what he is good at-the FA should take a long hard look at themselves. Ban should have stayed at 3 cards-Rooney doesn't care-its just another ckear message to a spoilt brat-do whatever you want and we will clear your mess up. Not suppporting England at Euros-waste of time anyway! FA clearly have no moral centre or compass. They won't read these comments but good to make a point!

  • Comment number 43.

    Sad how weak they are IF its a man u player we need fair play for all clubs

  • Comment number 44.

    Is it not also a poor example to set by bringing him along, band or knot?

    He deserved the red for what he did, and should accept whatever punishment accompanies it. It's sickening that the FA are going to so much trouble simply because he is one of our best players.

  • Comment number 45.

    It sends the wrong messages for me. The 'tackle' was utterly ridiculous and the subsequent ban quite justified. A lot of bleating and no little begging by the FA and the player has persuaded UEFA to reduce the sentence and from a purely selfish footballing standpoint that is good for England. Whether it is good for football is another matter altogether.

  • Comment number 46.

    @ Race for your life

    Its the same problem for Sweden. Ibrahimovic is our "superstar" but doesn't perform for our nation's colours. In a strange way he seems to be holding Sweden back even! We beat the Netherlands in an important Euro qualifier WITHOUT him to qualify for this tournament. Its strange- Ibra has been appreciated in every top club he has been, with the exception of Barcelona maybe, scores outrageous goals but can't perform for our country... you are really left scratching your head- but we have to take him. it would be ridiculous to leave him out! Same for England with the Rooney situation I get the feeling..... only with Sweden it is even more extreme

  • Comment number 47.

    I noticed that England have decided to remain camped in Krakow, Poland despite their 3 qualifying games all being played in the Ukraine. I think that was a good decision, that combined with the good news of Rooney's lessened ban, all looks good for 2012.
    What could possibly go wrong for team England?

  • Comment number 48.

    Is it not also a poor example to set by bringing him along, band or knot?

    He deserved the red for what he did, and should accept whatever punishment accompanies it. It's sickening that the FA area going to so much trouble simply because he is one of our best players.

  • Comment number 49.

    @Gassing Pirate 'Rooney has been tried and tested in all those positions and to no avail in many games.'

    When has Rooney been tried and tested in that position and formation? World Cup he played with Heskey and with Gerrard playing LM in a 442. That's hardly the 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 formation I've suggested. He's only played with a midfield consisting of Gerrard, Lampard and Barry playing, no wonder he can't play at his best trying to cover for lampard and Barry. I have not seen it tried out with Parker, Gerrard and Wilshere. With Young and probably Walcott on the wings, that's where you would get your width. The amount of times I've seen Rooney play it to Nani or Young on the wings for United shows that he can play in a team with width.

    Also as far as I'm aware Rooney hasn't performed in only one tournament. Euro 2004 was when he 'lit up the big stage', World Cup 2006 he was half injured so I would think it unfair to suggest he didn't perform, especially as i think he did no worse than some of the othe players. However yes for the World Cup 2010 it did look like he'd forgotten how to play football.

  • Comment number 50.

    I think although it deserved a 3 match ban,

    It's too harsh that the ban would be in the actual tournament.

    Maybe 2 matches in the group stages and one in the qualifying rounds next time round would of been more ideal. Still, can't complain with the result of the appeal.

  • Comment number 51.

    I wonder if there is a single England fan excited by this reduction... but no doubt the pundits will suggest we've been saved.

    I'm really trying not to be cynical, but in the last two games we've actually started to look like a team instead of a bunch of individuals, surely there is a correlation with Rooney's absence?

    I for one would be quite happy for him to be left at home.

    But that ain't gonna happen.

    Oh, and for heaven's sake move the base. Doh!

  • Comment number 52.

    Congratulations to the FA for getting Wayne's ban reduced! I would certainly say that gets him into the squad to face the Dutch in February and probably banks him a spot in the Euro 2012 squad though I'd like it if he returned to form for United first!

  • Comment number 53.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 54.

    This is unadulterated hypocrisy on the part of the FA, would they be there pleading the case for some average player, of course not. This has nothing to do with Rooney`s guilt or innocence but everything to do with England`s progress (hopeful) in the Euros. They have punishment standards they want followed but only if it doesn`t hurt the national team. Let`s face it Rooney has been a huge disappointment the last few times he has played for England and never seems to live up to his potential. His petulance has become an embarrasment to English soccer and it would have been better if he missed the Euros all together.

  • Comment number 55.

    As a football fan this sends out the wrong messages to young players and kids. Because he's "a star" the FA have gone above and beyond what they would do for anyone else. The facts are he's a liability with a questionable temperament who has not produce on the big stage since he broke through. Rooney is all that is wrong with today's football players, flawed genius or not. He should have been left at home so he himself could have learnt that kicking people on purpose because your having a bad game is totally and completely unacceptable.

  • Comment number 56.

    Rooney is a loose cannon and we will pay the piper at some or other

  • Comment number 57.

    A ban is a ban. Accept it and learn from the stupid mistake you made.

    Sadly, the FA value you too much and so whatever you do, they will be there to back you up.

    This reduction is a joke.

    He has had enough chances to learn but still has not managed to do that.

    Some role model.

  • Comment number 58.

    @ The Tenth Beetle Re: 53

    Only world class player? Firstly Ashley Cole is the only England player who could get into Spain or Brazil or Argentina's team and secondly he's shocking for England and goes missing in big tournaments. I'd much rather have a less "talented" player who knows where the onion bag is a bit more often like a Mario Gomez or even Chicharito (and I'm a city fan!) He's just so overrated. Great on his day, but far to few of them....especially for the Three Lions.

  • Comment number 59.

    The Football Association has already drawn criticism, notably from Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, for launching the appeal - but fixed penalties in England are in contrast to Uefa's more flexible approach, as director of communications Adrian Bevington was swift to point out-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    seems everyone is missing King Kenny's point, including yourself Phil.

    What Kenny appears to be saying is that he feels the FA have gone out of their way to ensure their best player gets his ban reduced by sending in the 'cavalary' and yet their own standards prevent clubs within the Premiership even sending someone along with the player to defend them.

    Here we had the FA sending the manager, the opposing player involved and a of course the usual suspects on bended knees...this is a luxury not afford to premiership teams, as King Kenny is clearly pointing out.

    Perhaps you were too Phil, its just your comment appears to be ambiguous in its content...

  • Comment number 60.

    At 20:06 8th Dec 2011, You wrote:

    The Football Association has already drawn criticism, notably from Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, for launching the appeal - but fixed penalties in England are in contrast to Uefa's more flexible approach, as director of communications Adrian Bevington was swift to point out-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    seems everyone is missing King Kenny's point, including yourself Phil.

    What Kenny appears to be saying is that he feels the FA have gone out of their way to ensure their best player gets his ban reduced by sending in the 'cavalary' and yet their own standards prevent clubs within the Premiership even sending someone along with the player to defend them.

    Here we had the FA sending the manager, the opposing player involved and of course the usual pen pushers on bended knees...this is a luxury not afforded to premiership teams, as King Kenny is clearly pointing out...

  • Comment number 61.

    I still wouldn't take him. He may have goal of the season from that overhead kick but this season his form has been poor. Look at last night against Basle, Nani cut a cross right in front of him, he was positioned correctly, open net, and then: AIR SHOT.

    We have to accept he just hasn't been at his best for some time now, but the only way to motivate him to be back at his best, is by leaving him out of the squad and illustrate that being Wayne Rooney doesn't mean a automatic pass into the squad.

    If we do well in our first 2 group games, I can't see it being good for the team spirit if the line up is muddled up simply because Rooney has become available. Even once he does get onto the pitch, all he will do is get frustrated, miss a few sitters and then probably get sent off.

    We are better off without him.

  • Comment number 62.

    I do believe Capello managed to call UEFA's bluff by threatening to drop Rooney for UEFA's premier tournament/marketing opportunity. Like it or not Rooney is a draw for the audience and the paying sponsors and as such the tournament is worth more to UEFA with him there.

  • Comment number 63.

    Number 19, do children as young as 10 know the expletives that Rooney used when shouting at the camera? If they know the words then they haven't learnt anything new, but if they have not heard their parents or peers use it, then they would not know what Rooney was shouting.

  • Comment number 64.

    I am surprised at the people lambasting the FA for being hypocrites (even if it is true), instead of being happy about the news. Some of you seem too virtuous in standing up to your principles. Any footballing association of any country would have done the same, why should England be any different.....

  • Comment number 65.

    I can't remember the last time Rooney had a good game for England. In our last 2 major tournaments he has played well neither times and has both times has gone home disgraced. Cast your mind back to 2006 when he got sent off or 2010 when he mouthed off at the fans and this is why he shouldn't be taken. The teams that played against Spain and Sweden looked far more promising than recent England teams including Rooney and I think it would be unfair if someone like Bent or Sturridge, true professionals who have worked hard to prove their worth, are overlooked for Rooney.

  • Comment number 66.

    I've a feeling this will come back to haunt the FA. Rooney already has a poor disciplinary record and to kick out as he did in this case once again shows his petulance. Role model? Don't make me laugh. For all the pundits who say he must go to the Euros I've got to ask when has he ever produced for England when it matters? I was hoping the ban would allow the team to flourish and play a system to suit the players not simply act as a vehicle for Rooney. Another disappointing tournament ahead I suspect. Be brave Fabio and leave him out, we might flourish without the ego.

  • Comment number 67.

    So, if Capello finds a good working formation and players to fill it and we do well in our first two group games, does Rooney go back into the line up? it must be a pleasure for the players who do well knowing that once Rooney is "back" then they will probably be dropped. great for morale. it must be a pleasure to know that no matter how well you do, this national disgrace will get first pick because he may keep his cool or actually have a good game for England.

    well done FA. hypocrisy personified.

  • Comment number 68.

    Desertwalker if you believe the FA are hypocrites, then why are you so surprised that we are lambasting them, do you have such a low opinion of us?
    You say that any association would have done the same, but would they. Would England have done so if it was Glen Johnson or Leighton Baines?

  • Comment number 69.

    This comment from Mark Lawrenson absolutely sums up the lack of pride and passion which the English play with:

    "And the fact that he is there might just inspire some big performances in the first two games from players who don't want to get left out of the third one."

    So, the fact that you've got someone breathing down your neck for a place of the team may inspire someone to put in a ''big performance''?

    There was me thinking that representing your country would be enough to make a ''big performance'' an unconditional certainty. :rollseyes: and :shakeshead: in an irregular manner.

  • Comment number 70.

    this is a absoulte scanndel wayne rooney should of been banned for a lot longer than 3 matches now its been reduced to 2 matches i just hope england lose in the world cup as i am not very proud of being english at the moment due to uefa. uefa need to look at themselves and bring rooney back infront of them and up his 2 match ban now to a 5 match ban. Wayne rooney should not even go to the world cup as we have better and more mature players them that waste of space. come on capello bring some one else rather than the waste of space rooney.
    WAYNE ROONEY IS NOT A VERY GOOD PLAYER AND HAS A DISGUSTING ATTUIDUDE AND I JUST HOPE WE DO NOT TAKE HIM TO THE WORLD CUP AND IF CAPELO DOES I JUST HOPE ENGLAND LOSE ALL THERE MATCHES

  • Comment number 71.

    The main Question will be ; FA regulates the Premier league, if this happen in the premier league , can someone appeal a straight red card for a lesser bans , I mean straight red card , 3 match ban will it be two on appeal? If a player kick someone and get sent off with a red card, can he make an appeal because it is FA cup final or a big game or similar ? I am not worrying about Dalgish but more about the principle ?

  • Comment number 72.

    This is disgraceful, if inevitable, hypocrisy by the English FA. If Rooney - or any other player for that matter - had committed that "tackle" in a league game he would've been rightly red carded and earned a deserved three game ban. If he had decided to appeal his red card to the FA he most likely would've got a fourth game for a frivalous appeal. Yet when it comes to try to save their woeful national team the English FA is willing to claim that kicking another player in the back legs isn't really that and he should be let off ! Hypocrisy of the highest degree.

    Not to mention further convincing the overpaid, spoilt brats that they can do what they like !

  • Comment number 73.

    this comment from this soul patch character sums him up
    "There was me thinking...in an irregular manner."

  • Comment number 74.

    English thug kicks player FA appeal. Liverpool player is abused by all, FA punish. The English FA is a joke!!

  • Comment number 75.

    I think it speaks volumes that Phil McNulty is in the minority with his thoughts :)

  • Comment number 76.

    Soul patch everyone knows in this country that Lawrenson's views are a joke and if you need to use his views to make a point then you are guity by association.

    You are like a broken record , only more boring.... the only reason Chelsea were able to beat Valencia was because of biased officials even though you never watched the game. Biased Belgian officials. What's the wheather like on your planet at the moment?

  • Comment number 77.

    Totally agree with 76 :)

  • Comment number 78.

    76. At 21:14 8th Dec 2011, greenmarkfo wrote:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I believe that Lawrenson is correct on this one.

    Having seen uncountable England performances where the players lack pride, passion, commitment and backbone, I wouldn't be surprised if Rooney waiting in the wings would jolt a few of them out of complacency.

    Most pros in other countries would crawl over broken glass just to represent their country, but sadly the English pros don't seem to have this level of commitment, pride and patriotism.

  • Comment number 79.

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

  • Comment number 80.

    Keith.

    Who are the "al"l who have attacked Suarez? No doubt about the fact that he gave the fans the finger, I can symathise with him, but certain players have to put up with so much more from the fans every single week, season after season. The other case is on-going and we shall have to see.

    Apart from that he has mainly been praised to the hilt. He came here with a rep as a diver and problematical; re the biting incident and he does go down easily, but then again so does Rooney in the box, but he that seems to be brushed over by the English Media.

    I find it ironic however that 'Pool fans feel that people are victimising Suarez when Mancini has accused them of targeting Mario and getting him sent off.

  • Comment number 81.

    As a Liverpool fan myself I think Suarez deserves a 3 match ban for the finger but this has nothing to do with the Rooney incident.

    The FA are being hypocritical and its disgusting!

  • Comment number 82.

    At 20:06 8th Dec 2011, You wrote:

    The Football Association has already drawn criticism, notably from Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, for launching the appeal - but fixed penalties in England are in contrast to Uefa's more flexible approach, as director of communications Adrian Bevington was swift to point out-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    seems everyone is missing King Kenny's point, including yourself Phil.

    What Kenny appears to be saying is that he feels the FA have gone out of their way to ensure their best player gets his ban reduced by sending in the 'cavalary' and yet their own standards prevent clubs within the Premiership even sending someone along with the player to defend them.

    Here we had the FA sending the manager, the opposing player involved and a of course the usual suspects on bended knees...this is a luxury not afford to premiership teams, as King Kenny is clearly pointing out.

  • Comment number 83.

    Soul Patch England have often fairly been accused of lacking technical skills but very rarely commitment or patriotism. Spain underperformed for so many years in major tournaments and then it suddenly all clicked.

    So much of sport is in the head, it's no coincidence that once a team wins a trophy they often follow up, even if they are not the best team. Mun U a good example last year, rode their luck and the belief grew. They have been exposed this year, as were City. The premiership is weaker than it has been for ages, but the teams are still strong and can win over two legs as Inter proved, showing that even the great Barca are vulnerable.

    Lot of luck involved in winning the CL as the first Barca win proved, they were five minutes from going out in the semis and Chelsea outplayed them at the Bridge. If not for Henning Ovrebo's extraordinary reffing dosplay that night Chelsea would have been out of sight. That is all history however, Barca went on to win the final and it gave them the confidence to go on and achieve what they have. The Spanish giants do look stronger but football is a funny game and may the best team end up as winners.

  • Comment number 84.

    Cheers 77.
    Haven't got a clue what your name means but I love it

  • Comment number 85.

    OMG I'm in agreement with soul patch.

    I too feel that certain England players for some time have failed to appreciate the honour of representing their country. S Africa was a prime example, no not the performance but the reacton to it.

    We have had too many automatic picks, no matter what they are deemed as being absolutely vital if we are going to be successful at tournaments. Which is total bull because we have not been successful with them.

    I'm not too bothered about the winning or losing at a tournament, just as long as we see a performance lacking fear, with passion and purpose. Well for years we have not witnessed one of those and we have not even been successful.

    Before anyone says quarter finals is successful, well it would have been ok if we'd played well or shown passion, everytime we've gone out like a damp squib.

  • Comment number 86.

    FA Board resign now , Rooney stay home , deserved you can't kicked people like that and get away with a two match ban when your colleague accidentally caught someone and get a red cards , FA sort it out , Fifa and FA all corrupted , I think

  • Comment number 87.

    What the Rooney reduction for England does is this - it gives the other strikers 2 games in which they can get booked knowing that Rooney will come back in for two games and then in the semi's the yellows are done away - so if Walcott hacks down a Swede (then he could still hack down another player in Ukraine game) as Rooney takes his place. Just a thought.

  • Comment number 88.

    .
    Wayne is wasting his time playing for England. He ought to concentrate on his career at Man U who's paying him a lot of dosh to play for them.

    England's done very well without Rooney, beating both Sweden and Spain, so, why change a winning side ??

    Besides Wayne can't seem to perform for England at internationals, witness the SAfrica World Cup, couldn't get going at all. I fear next year's European will just be the same for poor Rooney.

    What's annoying about it is after every international Wayne is so depressed he can't perform at Man U as well. I can see every England supporter is keen for Rooney to take part regardless of whether he's fit or not. Thereby going down the same old route to disaster we'd been on many times before.

    We should stop this silly hero-worshipping non-sense and start picking players who are fit and able to represent their country. By the looks of things even some wouldn't mind if Beckham was back on the side.

    Who's next after Capello ?? Once upon a time Roy Hodgson was the No1 choice after the World Cup mayhem, but he soon disqualified himself with poor performances at Liverpool which he managed at the time.

    Now another Englishman is being talked about as the Real Deal ! Step forward Harry Redknapp and defend yourself. Let's be honest, they all look the part and talk the talk, but can they hack it at international level ?? You can advance a 1001 reasons why an Englishman can do the job, but remember since Sir Alf was in charge nearly a half century ago, every local manager hadn't been able to come anywhere near Mr Ramsey's record. Who knows if Brian Clough or Jack Charleton had been given the chance at managing England, chances are we could now be talking about a second World or a first European trophy for England . . .but it didn't happen !!

  • Comment number 89.

    If nothing else #rooneygate and the heart-stopping 3 game, no make that a 2 game, like it's a matter of life or death, goes to show football is still KING. To an unhealthy degree imo.

    But there again I speak as a child of the late 60s who has been subjected to 14 (yes i couldn't quite believe it either until i added them up) major tournaments, ie World Cups or Euros, where English footballing dreams have been repeatedly, and latterly very feebly, crushed.

    All in exchange for precisely zero (yes, Diddly Squat) success.

    Not the best return; in fact it's fair to say I feel completely mugged off!!!

    So I for one won't be losing too much sleep about how many games Rooney is going to play in Euro 2012 in our seemingly always dysfunctional, and not very good to watch, national team.

    England please show Capello the door and get Redknapp in, and start playing football like the current Spurs team, and I might, just might, have a change of heart!

    #thebeautifulgame #notwhenyouwerebornin1968andfollowenglanditsnot

    Nb. See you at the Olympics for boxing, athetics, cycling et al - Great Britain glory guaranteed.

  • Comment number 90.

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

  • Comment number 91.

    Regarding your points about the Spanish national side and La Liga, I have to agree, Spain are hands down the best team in the world. Furthermore, Barcelona are the best team at club level in the world. No team in the world, perhaps even in the past, can or could have matched their style of play. It’s almost unbelievable how good and they are to watch. However, all teams in the beloved ‘Pubmership’ (another well rehearsed joke) are pub-standard, British teams are pub-standard, Irish teams are pub-standard. Call me old fashioned, but when I don’t enjoy something, I rarely do that activity or thing. Yet it’s bizarre, that you are up to date with every pub match in the country. From the “Fox and Duck’ pitches in the park games right to games at Old Trafford, you’ve seen them all (this is hyperbole, but im sure you will attempt to rather laughably have a go at taking my point apart ‘technically’, not that im too worried about such a thing occurring, your point deconstruction has as much ‘technical’ guile as the bottom half of La Laughable, otherwise known as the Blue Square Pointless). It seems odd, that if you ‘hate’ the Premiership and indeed, the teams from the league that thusly play in Europe, it is perverse that one would even watch something they dislike. For example, on television, I very much dislike Big Brother. The correct action for me therefore, is to not watch the show. Now I use the term ‘hate’ with a degree of reverence. You most likely do not have a burning desire to disband the Premiership, however, it is clear, due to the constancy and tenacity that you criticise the league, that you do not enjoy the style of the league or the style of the clubs. Hence my most humble of recommendations for you: cease to watch the Premiership. 

The issue with people watching Sky Sports is also interesting. Sky Sports, indeed the Sky network, is impartial by the nature of British law.

  • Comment number 92.

    It is true the PSB must be impartial, this is why the BBC has the importance of impartiality written into it’s charter. However, although the Sky package contains channels that are allowed to be biased (for example, the is a FOX news channel) Sky news and any of its affiliates, that is Sky Sports News or indeed, Sky Sports, must be impartial and offer a fair and balanced view. Despite that Sky is not a PSB and it is commercially driven, the network still has certain ‘boxes’ it needs to tick. Your points regarding Sky Sports News and Sky Sports and how its members and pundits brain wash people or ‘significantly affect’ the views of the British public in terms of a polarised point of view is nonsense. Sky Sports has a massive effect on people’s opinions, however they usually, and I stress usually, provide arguments to ‘both sides of the coin’ as it were. My suggestion to you is that if you have a problem, or indeed believe that Sky has been acting with extreme bias, perhaps in the Spain v England game (of which you have claimed many injustices against the Spanish which the punditry teams ignored), then the best course of action for you would be to email or get in contact with OfCom, which quote is ‘The independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries’.

    As a final point, I would just like to say I really appreciate the beautiful game and I am grateful that football is not linear. I am truly thankful that not every team in the world played like Barcelona, how boring would that be. The tactical diversity and difference of styles between players, teams, cultures and even fans is amazing and it is perhaps the main reason to watch the sport. It unites diverse opinions and styles together in a great game. While I look forward to seeing Barcelona win in a comprehensive style at the weekend, I am more looking forward to seeing sizzling stoke sensationally score a substantial quantity of goals this weekend.

Oh and just on a heads up, on the 13th of November, you were writing comments on this forum my friend. In fact on most Sunday mornings you are. I would recommend going to see your local pub football team on a Sunday morning once in a while instead. 

Anyway, Good luck England in the Euro’s! ☺ Hope we can have some success.

  • Comment number 93.

    Here are a few links, if anyone just wants to double check if what i said was true. I'd like to highlight that I am only trying to backup my point was evidence and not provoke.

2.11 dec 1st ‘ive seen better performances from ‘The Malt Shovel’ on A Sunday morning than I have from sunderland etc… 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/philmcnulty/2011/11/steve_bruce_dismissed_as_sunde.html?postid=111047510#comment_111047510

30th nov: 10.33pm: in relation to chelsea ‘ a team who would probably be well matched by the ‘Frog and Ferret’ on a Sunday morning

    

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/philmcnulty/2011/11/andre_villas-boas_enters_cruci.html?postid=111041877#comment_111041877


3.08pm 15th nov:

    

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/philmcnulty/2011/11/terry.html?postid=110884130#comment_110884130
‘half the England team would struggle to get a starting place for ‘The CHesnut Tree’ on a Sunday morning


15th nov: half of their 23 man squad would struggle to hold down a starting place at ‘The Lazy Otter’ on a Sunday morning.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/philmcnulty/2011/11/terry.html?postid=110882112#comment_110882112

14th November: 3.12pm : ive seen better defenders turn out for the ‘Anchor Inn’ on a Sunday morning – in relation to Richards.

  • Comment number 94.

    I think everyone realises you are not slightly wrong on many thinks, your simply incorrect. Everyones entitled to an opinion, however you are incorrect about much.



For example, your comments about 'Alex 'Chequebook Ferguson'. Interesting. Since the start of the Premiership, he is spent, on average, 10 million a season. Pretty good for Manchester United, very reasonable. 

Spent since 92-2011: 483, 000 000
Sold since 92-2011: 300, 000, 000
Net: 182, 000 000

This is the 4th highest in the Prem. Very reasonable.


Since the turn of the century, FC 'Barcaloadspend' have spent 640, 000, 000. Thats roughly 60 million a season. Including 40 million for Fabregas, 40 mil + for Ibra and a cheeky 25 million forDmytro Chygrynskiy, who should be playing at the 'Fox and Duck Inn' on a sunday morning for a pub team.

  • Comment number 95.

    Furthermore, since the post is moderated, here is the first paragraph, so that the rest of the points make sense:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/philmcnulty/2011/12/travel_could_pose_biggest_thre.html?postid=111062995#comment_111062995

    comment 240**

  • Comment number 96.

    I agree with what the majority of people are saying about Rooney. There is no way that his ban should have been decreased, and the FA have been shown to be hypocrites.

    Having said that I have 2 things to say:
    1) Can you honestly name any other national team whoes manager and governing body would not try to do the same thing in this situation? i.e. get a key player's (or percieved key player) ban decreased? I honestly think that it's as much a case of the English FA spotting a loophole in UEFA's laws or something like that and any other team would have done the same.

    2) It's often been said of the "golden generation" (Lampard, Terry etc) that the players haven't shown commitment or passion for England, and again I agree. However I honestly think that we need to lay off a little bit now and lower the expectations. We've got a new younger generation coming through (Hart, Wilshere, Jagielka etc) and taring them with the same brush would be a very bad thing to do. Good thing is that at the moment the expectations of the football team are much lower than they have been in the past, lets keep it that way for the sake of the younger kids.

    Last thing to say...come on FA. Show some balls, go the way of rugby and cricket and bring in a quota of overseas players allowed in a squad.

  • Comment number 97.

    To me, "World Class" means that you would likely get picked in a World XI, or maybe a World Squad of 23 (the size of WC squads). I honestly can't see that any England player, and most especially Wayne Rooney, would currently get a look in. Even Ashley Cole, who in the past would have been a shoe-in, has faded of recent times and I'm sure has been surpassed.

    I really don't think that Rooney is in any way critical to England's Euro 2012 campaign. He adds nothing by his presence and represents an unacceptable risk with his behaviour. It is very telling that, for a player with so much promise, his progress has seemingly stalled, and maybe even regressed, in the last few years.

  • Comment number 98.

    I'm just curious. Say Rooney starts the third game, scores sixteen own goals, then goes on a rampage in which he kills five people in the stands. The FA appeal against his subsequent ban, charges are dropped, and he's able to play in the 2014 World Cup.

    Would you still think this is really wonderful news for England?

    What, precisely, does he have to do to prove that he's a liability?

    Get red-carded?

    Done. Twice.

    Fail to score in two World Cups?

    He did that.

    Disgrace himself and his team?

    Already taken care of.

    Act like a petulant small boy on the pitch, to the detriment of his team, its chances of winning, and whatever spirit of team unity they have?

    That's his typical style.

    Look far worse than Crouch, or anyone else for that matter, in the role of England striker?

    Certainly.

    "he gives Capello's side a dimension and threat they do not possess without him."

    "Rooney's ability to link midfield and attack"

    His ability--and he's done this very consistently for England, consists of:

    1. Getting irritated, then petulant.

    2. Making angry remarks to his teammates.

    3. Blowing his top and getting sent off (though he doesn't do this every game, just twice.)

    Compare that to Bent, who stayed calm and made the most of his once half chance.

    Look, England aren't going to win the Euros. But they can put out a team that tries hard, does its best, and may even work their way into winning a few games--unless they use Rooney. In which case, expect a repeat of the World Cup in 2010, which was a repeat of the World Cup of 2006.






    Rooney's ability to link midfield and attack




    Turn

  • Comment number 99.

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

  • Comment number 100.

    If the moderators could ban people for repetition in the same way that they ban people for persistent use of bad language say, then surely soul patch would have been consigned to history a long time ago. Ignore him people, you are only feeding his sorry addiction.

    As regards the blog, this smacks of double standards by the FA. They seem to rail against anyone who might question their own disciplinary procedures, often under the threat of extended punishment for the supposed miscreants.

    Yet here we have them fighting tooth & nail against UEFA to have the punishment of one of their own reduced despite his being guilty of not only violent conduct but also incredible stupidity.

 

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