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Wait is over for Rooney and England

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Phil McNulty | 15:57 UK time, Sunday, 17 June 2012

Euro 2012: Krakow

England's most potent weapon is hardly a secret but there was still a sense of anticipation when Wayne Rooney was wheeled out in front of the media in Krakow on Sunday.

Rooney's road to England redemption after his red card in Montenegro last October will start in the hostile surroundings of Donetsk's Donbass Arena on Tuesday where their Euro 2012 aspirations go on the line against co-hosts Ukraine.

When former England coach Fabio Capello travelled to Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, to plead for Rooney's suspension to be cut from three games to two - and open up a window of opportunity at Euro 2012 - this was the occasion he had in mind.

And Capello's successor Roy Hodgson will now be the grateful beneficiary of the Italian's unswerving support for England's outstanding player as they seek the point they require to reach the last eight.

Wayne Rooney in a press conference in Krakow

Wayne Rooney has a chance to match the impact he made in Euro 2004 as an 18-year-old. Photo: AFP

Rooney was measured and repentant as he faced the world's media, admitting: "What happened was a mistake and I paid the price. When it was a three-game ban I thought I probably wouldn't be here. I'm happy that I am.

"It is obviously something I regret and I understand I made a mistake, but I had to move on and understand I have got a two-game ban. The red card I got was obviously silly, but it was something that happened and I had to forget about it and take my punishment."

For all the calm of Rooney's demeanour, he is arguably the least suited of Hodgson's squad to the enforced role of powerless bystander. Captain Steven Gerrard has already revealed how his fellow Merseysider had been taking out his frustrations on footballs located in the England dressing room.

Rooney said: "Watching games is more difficult than playing, as when you are playing you feel you can do something to put it right if it is not going right. When you are sat in the stands, there is nothing you can do.

"You are basically a fan for the game and that is what it has felt like. I now understand why the fans say it is so difficult to watch."

Rooney's hyperactivity is well-known and there is no doubt he will arrive in Ukraine determined to make up for lost time - both here at Euro 2012 and for disappointments at previous major tournaments.

After electrifying Euro 2004 with four goals as an 18-year-old Everton striker, only to see his illumination of Lisbon's Stadium of Light cut short by a foot injury in the quarter-final against Portugal, the big international stage has been an unfulfilling place for such a world-class talent.

He famously announced his return to full fitness for the 2006 World Cup in Germany after another foot injury by walking into England's Baden-Baden base with the words: "The Big Man is back in town."

Sadly the big man left town with only a red card and abject misery for company after being sent off in another last-eight loss on penalties to Portugal.

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In South Africa two years ago he was a victim of the crushing boredom inside Rustenburg's "Camp Capello" and had a campaign memorable only for an ill-advised and undeserved verbal attack on England's fans into a television camera after the woeful goalless draw with Algeria in Cape Town.

So Rooney has waited eight years to have the desired impact on England's fortunes in a major tournament and Hodgson will be hoping the frustrations will be channelled into a profitable release against Ukraine, who require a win to qualify.

The excitement about Rooney's return has not been confined to neutral observers. Manager Hodgson has been unable to disguise his anticipation of the day when he can pick the 26-year-old. There is no question he will be thrust straight in against Ukraine.

Whoever Hodgson decides to leave out to accommodate the comeback can count themselves unlucky after Liverpool's Andy Carroll and Rooney's Manchester United team-mate Danny Welbeck made goalscoring contributions to the 3-2 win against Sweden.But it is clear Hodgson will not hold Rooney back as England are not so well-blessed with world-class players that they can afford to leave one out, with the boss admitting: "If I did leave him out all hell might break loose in the dressing room."

Hodgson will hope the mayhem is inflicted on Ukraine, where Rooney will vie for attention with the co-host nation's sporting icon Andriy Shevchenko as he tries to finish his international career with a flourish.

Rooney's return gives England a player who can make the world's best defences take a step back. He will give Hodgson mobility, tactical flexibility, creation and a goalscoring threat that can change the emphasis and momentum of any match.

And if England do need a moment of inspiration that could make a difference in Donetsk, then Hodgson and Rooney's team-mates know he is the player capable of producing it.

Rooney appeared to have doused his combustible temperament at Old Trafford last season but it will be put to the test in the Donbass Arena. The subdued atmosphere of England's opening against France where players could be heard shouting instructions will be replaced by a hothouse playing host to a nation's expectations.

He is confident England can deal with the occasion, saying: "We've been to a lot of stadiums around the world and we've had to deal with a big atmosphere on a lot of occasions. We're big enough and experienced enough to deal with that."

The wait is over. England and Roy Hodgson will hope it is worthwhile.

Comments

Page 1 of 9

  • Comment number 1.

    For everyone that knows my stance on England (not quite the part), I think Rooney can make a difference to proceeding. But he will always have an 'overrated' label somewhere in close proximity to his shinpads.

  • Comment number 2.

    Rooney is only one of 2 or 3 players English players who would get into any squad at the Euro's and we do have a poor squad compared to previous years so it's obvious his return generates a lot of interest though I hope when he doesn't set the tournament alight in his first game he doesn't get berated like we English normally love to do.

  • Comment number 3.

    Even if we haven't got a great set of players compared with previous years, I think the attitude and enthusiasm are good - there's maybe more of a hunger than some other (more talented) teams. Hopefully Rooney can add that extra layer of class without spoiling the attitude.

    I'd go back to the starting line-up against France, but with Rooney replacing Young who's been poor so far. We need that solid shape to work for us, if not for the Ukraine, then certainly for the knock-out stages. Bit harsh on Carroll and Walcott, but Hodgson will be delighted to have some extra threat available on the bench.

  • Comment number 4.

    I think we've pretty much got the idea that we've not got that great a squad representing England by now. But, aside from a few 'wobbles', some player performances being disappointing, I think we've done a better than we 'could' have expected...not 'should' have. Rooney 'should' have a good effect on the side, he's fresh, he's seen how the team are playing...as a team, not like South Africa...hopefully he'll keep his head, and concentrate on doing what he's supposed to be doing. I just wonder how Roy's going to play him

  • Comment number 5.

    Although Rooney is by far England's best player, let's not forget that he has had many games where he has been anonymous.

    Just from a tactical view point though, having him back is a real boost. He provides the link between the midfield and the attack, taking the responsibility from Gerrard, which enables the the midfielders to perform their defensive duties to greater effect.

  • Comment number 6.

    Rooney is a world class player; but when will fans, managers, the nation and the media realize that football is a team game. For all the class of Rooney, without the service and support of the other team member he cannot be successful. We put to much pressure on the guy by writing blogs like this without realizing that you don't win tournaments because of one player, we need more than one player to score goals! (look at Ronaldo for Portugal or RVP for the Netherlands in the EUROS).

    Rooney is back in the team, fantastic. Now lets see if this new emerging England team can play well with him in it.

  • Comment number 7.

    There seems to be a constant hullmabaloo about "When Rooney returns" in the media as though he is England's only hope. Well they have done pretty well without him so far and Rooney's record in recent toirnaments does not justify all the hype.
    So far he has not been the Messiah, just a very naughty boy !!

  • Comment number 8.

    Good article. Difficult selection choice for Hodgson but surely Rooney must come back but I would play him behind Carroll and not in the main striker roll, which would mean Wellbeck sitting out although Young has been a major disappointment and will be lucky to hold his place against young Oxlede-Chamberlain. I just hope that whatever happens, Rooney is NOT played as the main striker, because we never see the best of him in this role. I am also concerned about Parker as he is so slight and has been really knocked about by the French and then the big Swedes and looked very frail the other night, and hardly made a tackle all night, after he was knocked into the hoardings, which is most unusual. Maybe Jones could start there. He's younger, stronger and should be able to dish out a little as well.
    Walcott to come mid-way through the 2nd half, when defenders are tiring, is always a bonus and much more preferable to him starting.

  • Comment number 9.

    It's undoubtedly a high risk gamble playing Rooney any time because you never know if he's going to go off half cocked and get sent off, a fact the Ukranians will be fully aware of and do everything they can to provoke him.
    But with both Young and Milner no where near good enough and now Walcott possibly out, maybe sticking Rooney out wide may help keep him out of trouble.
    Personally I wouldn't take the risk of starting him but have him on the bench as my ace-in-the-hole, to bring on as an impact sub. That way the provocation (hopefully) wouldn't have time to get under his skin

  • Comment number 10.

    This tournament already shows that sometimes a team wins despite the efforts of their best players! Ronaldo did his best to stop Portugal beating Denmark but luckily for him and his colleagues, they pulled through.

    I don't think there's an Englishman in the land that wouldn't cheer heartily if Rooney scored a hat-trick and England won 4-0, but they'd prefer Rooney not to score and England to win than him to score twice and England lose 3-2.

    This is a team game with Hodgson no doubt defining a role for Rooney within it.

    Unless he's going to emulate Maradona in 1986, though, he needs someone to provide him with a cross to head a goal, someone to share one-twos with to put in in on the keeper etc etc.

    England have got four points without him, so the team should build on that rather than feeling that now Rooney's back, they can relax.

    They can't.

  • Comment number 11.

    Would you change a reasonably successful formula to accommodate, albeit on paper the best player in the squad on his day, Wayne Rooney? I can see him coming back in, the system not being fully effective and things unraveling. I definitely think it's a case of not knowing what will work, so trying anything will have to do. But Ukraine aren't a good side, and with or without Rooney, England should win. But then, if we play against Spain after that, again, it makes no difference with or without Rooney. So, the key for England is not only to win but to win the game convincingly. Coming first or second in this group will make a huge difference to how far the team can go in the tournament, assuming of course Spain beat Croatia as they are expected to.

    Having said all of this; that was yet another thoroughly uninteresting article, Phil.

  • Comment number 12.

    not sure how you work that out #8, rooney has been united's top scorer in 2 of the last 3 seasons and has been most effective either right up front on his jack or as a split striker in combination with a partner, latterly danny welbeck.

    i get the impression from your post that you want to see him as a 10 but that's not his game at all. the options england have with rooney and welbeck in tandem are excellent, with either one of them able to play both roles when split long and both able to spit wide and allow others to play through as well.

  • Comment number 13.

    Obviously Autar doesn't know too much about Parker. He's as hard as nails Autar and a real 'street fighter' as any WH supporter can tell you. It was Capello's greatest mistake (among many) not taking him to the WC because every team needs a 'Parker' in these major tournaments.

  • Comment number 14.

    At 18:15 17th Jun 2012, Reid wrote:

    It's undoubtedly a high risk gamble playing Rooney any time because you never know if he's going to go off half cocked and get sent off, a fact the Ukranians will be fully aware of and do everything they can to provoke him.
    _________________________________________________________

    Rooney was booked just once last season - and all the PL sides (and fans) tried to provoke him

  • Comment number 15.

    I think it's a nice problem that Hodgson has all of a sudden. Before the tournament Rooney was nailed on to come back into the team; now there are options. Carroll and Welbeck played well together and obviously Walcott has put himself in the frame.

    14: Despite the lack of bookings I think there were times when we saw the temper his has rise and he will need to keep it in check; those of us with short fuses can never fully get rid of it. It's up to Hodgson to decide whether Rooney is right for the match and by the sounds of it he is.

  • Comment number 16.

    @13 I'll agree with you that having a ball winner in midfield is important but I'm not sure every team would want Scott Parker. If he didn't give the ball away so much he wouldn't have to spend so much time chasing around trying to win it back!

    As for Rooney, I'm looking forward to seeing him back in the team. I think he really struggled with the Jabulani at the World Cup but players seem to be a lot more comfortable with this new ball.

  • Comment number 17.

    pb111 @6

    We put to much pressure on the guy by writing blogs like this
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Maybe, just maybe, this will be the making of Rooney, we may see him in a totally different light. We are all different, some thrive on this kind of expectation and presssure, others fall away because of it.

    This will be the first time when we have a chance to see him in a leaders roll at international level. If he is as good as many think he is, then he will not fail England.

    Past tournaments have not exactly been happy events for England squads and this appears to be the first time for years, that we have a happy harmonious squad without all the usual bull surrounding it. No WAGS, no visible splits in the team and no managers who cannot understand the English mentality.

  • Comment number 18.

    Oh for goodness sake Phil.
    This ridiculous homage to Red Card Rooney is quite embarrassing.
    To quote Monty Python: "He isn't The Messiah. He's a very naughty boy".

    When will you journalists get passed the fact that he is merely a red card waiting to happen and on the international stage he has done very little to justify any of the hyperbole and outlandishly unwarranted praise heaped upon him.

    Please. Please stop this hysteria. It makes the English press and ultimately England a world wide laughing stock.

  • Comment number 19.

    @ 9 Reid

    Playing Rooney out wide is not going to get the best out of him. Just behind a front man (I would go with Welbeck in that role) is where I would like him to be. If he can provide that creativity and link with our midfield then we can pose a different kind of threat to our opponents than we have shown so far.

  • Comment number 20.

    14. At 18:25 17th Jun 2012, eccles45 wrote:
    Rooney was booked just once last season - and all the PL sides (and fans) tried to provoke him
    ______________________________________________________________________

    Yes, Ferguson has a lot of influence over the Premier League but not UEFA. Therefore Red Card Rooney is likely to be treated just like any other miscreant.

  • Comment number 21.

    19. At 18:54 17th Jun 2012, BaggiosPonytail wrote:
    Playing Rooney out wide is not going to get the best out of him.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    Depends how wide doesn't it?
    If he's played so wide that he's sat somewhere in the crowd I'd say that was his best position for England.

  • Comment number 22.

    The celebrity culture continues to progress. A-class to C-class 'celebrities' play too important a role in our culture. Froth and bubble. Why is the BBC so sycophantic? The guy is good at his 'job' and, like others, is on a pay scale beyond comprehension. He is, however, flawed. He's the joker who imperilled the team in the first place by being suspended for indiscipline ... now he's 'ready and willing'. Big deal. Press conferences seeking his opinion and the media enthralled: brilliant.

    The talisman returns ... oh what joy! What joy! The media needs to get a grip on itself!

  • Comment number 23.

    baggiosponytail @19

    That's more like it, he's forever looked like the type who could do that consistently, i've often been critical because he goes chasing the ball in a match, deserting his position, out of hunger to be involved.

    The position you suggest is a position where he would certainly see a lot more of the ball and you certainly want your best player involved as much as possible.

  • Comment number 24.

    I can foresee it now.

    Rooney returns and gets a goal against Ukraine, we go through as expected. Because Rooney scored he is then automatically in the side to face Spain, Italy or Croatia.

    Our opponents play on this and go out with the instruction of winding him up. (A'la The Winker of Portugal). Rooney sees Red (no pun intended) and is sent off.

    England go on to concede a last minute goal or go out on penalties.

    To quote the Three Lions lyric :

    "They've seen it all before"

  • Comment number 25.

    @ 17 Londoner

    The signs so far have been very encouraging. I like the attitude of the younger players (Carroll, Chamberalin, Walcott, Welbeck) and get the impression that their focus is on the team doing well rather than their own individual concerns.

    I think it will be easier for Rooney to slot into this team without too much disruption compared to some other countries e.g. the stories coming out of the Dutch camp are that some players think they should have been in the team in the first two games and others such as Robben seemed to have a bad attitude when being substituted.

  • Comment number 26.

    On the subject of discipline and Rooney.

    Nobody has stopped to think that for the last 8 or so years Rooney has been involved with England Squads that have never had discipline, on or off the pitch. This one is definitely showing a different side to past teams.

    This is, his opportunity to show us he is a leader, a talisman for the team.

  • Comment number 27.

    I feel sorry for Rooney, if he doesn't produce a world class performance then whole nation is against him.
    Ashley Young will benefit from him being back but it's lack of imagination by midfield that will be downfall. If England want to progress they need to realise that Gerrard is yesterday's man and say thank you but goodnight. Give Rooney the responsibility of captaincy and tell him to go win the tournament

  • Comment number 28.

    baggiosponytail @25

    i don't know about you but for me that is the best part of this England squad.

    Disciplined and wanting to play for the team but also happy to support the team, first time we've had that for years.

    Ok we probably won't win it but long term this is where we must start. No one has ever got it right on the pitch when it's been wrong off the pitch.

  • Comment number 29.

    I really do think it's time that a certain journalist rethinks his homage and genuflections to Rooney and Ferguson. He is clearly a big fan of both but this hysteria is getting in the way of objectivity.

    Rooney has been the subject of debate and on-camera coverage to the point that you would think that he will don a cape and blue underpants and save, not just Ingerland, but also the planet the universe and beyond.

    This is absolutley ludicrous fare served up by adults, not starry eyed 13 year olds.
    It needs to stop now. Credibility is already lost.

  • Comment number 30.

    Gariochef @27

    I feel sorry for Rooney, if he doesn't produce a world class performance then whole nation is against him.
    Give Rooney the responsibility of captaincy and tell him to go win the tournament
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Only idiots will be against him, if he gives his all [i'm sure he will] and tries his best. then that is all we can ask of him.

    This is not some club game, for me he could play for anyone, I don't care but this is England and that is all that counts.

    This is about real glory and a place in England's footballing history.

  • Comment number 31.

    The majority of England fans will agree that Rooney has the potential to 'tear up' any football team. Equally, Rooney may not achieve his potential, for example 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

    I am worried about Rooneys physical and mental fitness. If he does not play well, he will get frustrated and he may do something stupid on the pitch and get sent off.

    Of course, I would start with him in the team, but I would possibly withdraw him after 60mins or so if he starts to struggle. England need to keep 11 players on the pitch.

    In my opinion England should play with all their attack minded players to try to better the French goal difference. England have a greater chance of beating Croatia/Italy than Spain.

    I would play 4,3,1,2 with Rooney behind Carroll and Wellbeck. Walcott and Ox Chamberlin on the wings with Gerrard sitting in front of the defence. Parker to sit out with Johnson, Terry, Lescott and Cole in Defence.

  • Comment number 32.

    I think I concur with several of the previous posters. I am very happy to see this young squad playing with talent, guts and enthusiasm. In theory, Rooney can only make this better. Capello failed miserably to find a formula to support Rooney and get the best out of him. But it is not only up to Hodson to remedy this, success is in the hands of Rooney himself, his young teammates and Hodson's strategies. For the first time in eight years we have something positive to look forward to. Bring it on!

  • Comment number 33.

    30.At 19:22 17th Jun 2012, Londoner in exile returns wrote:
    Only idiots will be against him
    _______________________________________________________________

    Only someone without wit or intelligence to could come up with a cogent coherent argument (irony) like that. Clearly a slave of red top rag journalists.

    Rooney is a liability while he's on the pitch and when he isn't, we are down to 10 men.

  • Comment number 34.

    @ 31 the football genie

    A very good point about Rooney's fitness. Hopefully Hodgson can recognise if he is tiring or becoming frustrated and make the substitution at the right time.

  • Comment number 35.

    Just a thought, but what if he does something stupid and costs us qualification in this next match?

    He's expected to be a hero. He'll be vilified if he messes up. Its not really a win-win for the lad. Its a lot of pressure. The press will slaughter him if he's a flop after we waited 2 games for him.

  • Comment number 36.

    @ 33 Kíllìnghölmê_Clᥠ(aka Charlie Cheesecake)

    The fact that you had to put irony in brackets says it all really.

  • Comment number 37.

    Its Welbeck and Carroll upfront for me, but with proper wingers supporting them. Drop Milner and the absolutely dire Young and bring in Walcott & the Ox.

  • Comment number 38.

    36.At 19:37 17th Jun 2012, BaggiosPonytail wrote:
    @ 33 Kíllìnghölmê_Clᥠ(aka Charlie Cheesecake)

    The fact that you had to put irony in brackets says it all really.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    Yes it does. Don't worry I'll walk you through the difficult to understand bits.

  • Comment number 39.

    I like everyone was hugely disappointed last year in see a shadow of the Rooney we know , I am sure he dearly loves to want to put the past to rest . Injuries , suspensions and the past can be put to bed if now he comes out and bring his A game . Ironically I am hoping sitting on the sidelines would have created a huge hunger inside him , I hope he has the right temperament and is professional on the pitch and he will be a star if so .

  • Comment number 40.

    Jagielka in for Terry. He qand Lescott were excellent in the friendly against Spain recently. Terry has the speed and turning circle of a north sea oil tanker.
    I wonder if it's worth putting Baines in for Cashley?

  • Comment number 41.

    killingholme @33
    Only someone without wit or intelligence to could come up with a cogent coherent argument (irony) like that. Clearly a slave of red top rag journalists.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sorry to disappoint i don't read red top rags. I have nothing against those who do though.

    Now the reason, if you are an England national team supporter, then whatever club a player is at is irrelevant.

    If the player plays for a certain club and he gets crucified whilst playing for England because of that club. Quite obviously the people that do that are not true England supporters.

    I for one support England without a thought for who a player plays for.

    The one thing Rooney can never be criticised for is 'wanting to play for England'

    Therefore it is the mindless idiot that brings club mentality into it.

  • Comment number 42.

    29.
    At 19:16 17th Jun 2012, Kíllìnghölmê_Clᥠ(aka Charlie Cheesecake) wrote:

    I really do think it's time that a certain journalist rethinks his homage and genuflections to Rooney and Ferguson. He is clearly a big fan of both but this hysteria is getting in the way of objectivity.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    .
    And your dislike and/or contempt of Rooney doesn't ?

  • Comment number 43.

    @42.....No. Reality is the best place to be.
    @41....I too support England. I want us to progress.
    Rooney is over hyped and has not delivered at International level. Welbeck (Man Utd) and Carroll (Liverpool) deserve to keep their places.

  • Comment number 44.

    @43 If Roy Hodgson couldn't pick players who were over-hyped and had not delivered at international level I think he would struggle to put out a team!

  • Comment number 45.

    Ahh. Roy Hodgson.
    He's won a couple of Scandinavian Cups but failed miserbly when at bigger clubs like Milan and Liverpool. Hodgson is also way over hyped too.
    Perhaps more than Rooney!

  • Comment number 46.

    Netherlands vs Portugal a good game so far. I can't see the Netherlands winning by 2 clear goals as their defence looks too weak. I expect there to be more goals in the second half.

  • Comment number 47.

    @46
    Portugal might just sneak this as the Dutch get more desperate and more stretched

  • Comment number 48.

    Rooney ? Pathetic big stage international record. Mr Hodgson will advisedly stick
    with genuine triers who are not yet "superstars".

  • Comment number 49.

    @48.

    Welbeck and Carroll are a bit better than 'triers'.
    Cetainly more recent international class than Rooney and less likely to be sent off too.

  • Comment number 50.

    I've got both on and the're both decent games, one on the box, the other on the pc.

    Yes it would be unfair but this is one time, I'd like the last group games staggered

  • Comment number 51.

    How about Portugal and Denmark to go through?

  • Comment number 52.

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

  • Comment number 53.

    Didn't realise Pietersen played football. Never forget last England tour to WI---
    "I want to go home" [ ie S Africa]. Another mercenary England have adopted.

  • Comment number 54.

    Maybe like Ferdinand, Hodgson could have dropped Rooney for "footballing" reasons.
    Ferdinand cant play two games in four days according to his club manager. Rooney couldnt play the first two games because he deliberately kicked an opponent.
    No difference there then

  • Comment number 55.

    CC---OK Welbeck has talent. Carroll not much more than a "Big girl's blouse"

  • Comment number 56.

    I really hope that press reports of squad unity are true as it's the only way we have any chance for success. It will be one more step than many England 'fans' can take who appear more bothered about other teams players messing up and costing England rather than supporting them and actually doing well. Club or player bias is taking over!

  • Comment number 57.

    Big girls blouse and recent scorer, never has been sent off for England.
    Hmm. Would I choose him or a mindless red card attracting pugilist?

    Its the "blouse".

  • Comment number 58.

    How is Rooney England's potent weapon, more like pretentious, he has not scored in major tournament for England since 2004, if it had been anyone else they would have been dropped a long time ago. I am not saying Rooney is a bad player, because he is a very good player, but he is NOT world class, and does not really deserve an automatic place in the England squad, his temperment is in big question, as the European refereees will not let him get away with the things that he has allowed to get away with by the EPL referees.

  • Comment number 59.

    Carroll - 9 goals in 47 appearances
    Rooney - 35 goals in 44 appearances

    I wonder who Hodgson will pick?

  • Comment number 60.

    Another biased post by Phil "I love manchester United, fergie + rooney" McNulty

  • Comment number 61.

    Donbere... your argument does not stand up, because if that was the case, then...

    Peter Crouch 20 goals in 37 appearances
    Wayne Rooney 25 goals in 57 appearances..

  • Comment number 62.

    Personally, I think Rooney is a sorry excuse for a human being and had he not been any good at football no one would bother about him. However, he is a good footballer and probably England's only decent international forward.

    Wellbeck might turn out to be a good forward but looks too much like "Bambi on ice" for me. Carroll needs to focus on trying to be a good club footballer before bothering about internationals and Defoe needs to actually play a club game.

    Back to the game. Rooney needs to play just behind the other forward so the question is can Wellbeck lead the line and can Carroll be effective without being constantly pulled up for fouls by a home town crowd? I'd say no to both but without an alternative would probably lead with Carroll and bring on Wellbeck as an impact sub an hour in. Either way I suspect Rooney will only be playing a maximum of two games in this tournament and there must be good odds that his wait for a tournament goal (going back to 2004) will continue.

  • Comment number 63.

    CC, I go with that. Point is-- Why all this tripe about Rooney from so called
    "respected football journalists".? Clearly,Mr. McNulty should get a little more
    experience of International football at the highest level before making specious
    copy.

  • Comment number 64.

    @59 dont be a silly billy. Thats Man Utd. We all know that Red Card Rooney gets preferential treatment at Old Trafford.

    This is International football. Carroll scored for England in a competitive match a couple of days ago. The last time Rooney scored for England in a competiton? 2004 apparently.

  • Comment number 65.

    Also Donbere..... the stats we are talking about are Internationals, not club level, where Rooney and United get away with murder.

    Andy Carroll 5 International appearances, 1 goal in MAJOR tournament
    Rooney not scored in a MAJOR tournament since 2004

  • Comment number 66.

    Two decent games tonight.

  • Comment number 67.

    63.At 21:40 17th Jun 2012, snowLordPumpkin wrote:
    CC, I go with that. Point is-- Why all this tripe about Rooney from so called
    "respected football journalists".? Clearly,Mr. McNulty......
    ________________________________________________________________

    Its a constant from Mr McNulty. It seems Rooney and Ferguson can do no wrong in his eyes.

  • Comment number 68.

    Well the Dutch have shown that it doesn't matter how many talented individuals you have if a team has no teamwork, no shape and no tactical awarenees it ends up with no points.

    I thought their formation with 2 very defensive midfielders was the problem in the first 2 matches but it was even worse in the second half of this match.

    I'm not sure why Van Persie spent most of the match on the right of midfield and by the look of he probably has no idea either!

    Portugal could go far in this tournament if Ronaldo continues to play at that level. They have a good shape, are well disciplined and look really dangerous on the counter attack.

  • Comment number 69.

    68.At 21:45 17th Jun 2012, BaggiosPonytail wrote:
    Well the Dutch have shown that it doesn't matter how many talented individuals you have if a team has no teamwork,
    _____________________________________________________________________
    So Wellback and Carroll should keep their places, Red Card Rooney on the bench?

  • Comment number 70.

    Maybe it would be best to wait and see if Rooney can produce a display at international level before he is slaughtered.

    Playing well for a club means he is liable to be selected for international duty but has little to do with how a player performs playing for his country in a tournament.

  • Comment number 71.

    @ 66 Londoner

    I tried to watch both at the same time last night but it got a bit much. I'll catch up on the German vs Denmark match shortly. Interesting Quarter-Final ties so far.

  • Comment number 72.

    70.At 21:48 17th Jun 2012, Londoner in exile returns wrote:
    Maybe it would be best to wait and see if Rooney can produce a display at international level before he is slaughtered.
    ____________________________________________________________________
    Last competitive goal 2004. How many years do you suggest we wait?

  • Comment number 73.

    He shouldn't be there England win more games without him that with him. His temperament is a liability and his performences in the last two world cups show he doesn't have what it takes at tournaments. REmember how we failed to even qualify for 2008? Our 'talisman' was an integral part of that team...

  • Comment number 74.

    Rooney is not the Messiah. He is just a very naughty boy.
    We are better of without the liability.

  • Comment number 75.

    baggiosponytail @68

    I'm not sure, too much can be read into Portugal's performance tonight, the opposition was totally disjointed and very poor. I would expect most of the leading nations to beat Holland on that display

    Germany and the Denmark game give a far greater indication of the true merit of Portugal because that is where they were tested.

    But there is no standout team at the Euros and it's still wide open.

  • Comment number 76.

    Drop the abysmal Young and Milner and bring in Walcott and Ox.
    Carroll & Wellback up front. Bring Defoe on if needed.
    Leave Rooney in his best position. A spectator.

  • Comment number 77.

    @ 69 Kíllìnghölmê_Clᥠ(aka Charlie Cheesecake)

    If Rooney coming back into the team meant that the teamwork we have had so far was compromised then I would stick with Welbeck and Carroll.

    You seem to be arguing that Rooney should not play because he could get sent off which is a different argument altogether.

    Hodgson has made it clear that Rooney will start against Ukraine. We have to hope that Rooney has learnt his lesson and can perform to his potential. We'll see on Tuesday night...

  • Comment number 78.

    I'm seething. We should've knocked at least 1-2 more past Denmark. Credit to Der Boyz for attacking and taking control in the 2nd, but it need to be more decisive. And got to watch those set pieces!

    As for the Netherlands, I guess O_o sums it up pretty much. Bravo R7, show that Wooney who's Boss!

  • Comment number 79.

    @77 No I just don't think Rooney is worth his place for footballing reasons.

  • Comment number 80.

    baggiosponytail @71

    The German Denmark game was interesting, I'm not sure they wanted the game played that way, they didn't know whether to go for it or take it easy. They ended up with neither.

    I think it's a dangerous tactic to suddenly drop the tempo of a team because they can have the effect of not being able to get it back. It's a bit like losing form.

  • Comment number 81.

    avonns @78

    I thought your boys attitude was very lazy tonight. I would not say subdued, I thought they were caught in two minds.

    I wrote earlier, if your in form try to keep it because teams just can't switch on and off at will.

    I still think they had way too much for Denmark though.

  • Comment number 82.

    @80

    Ha! Wooney's Intn'l record speaks for itself! Yes, good in E2004- but so was Charisteas. That was then, this is now. And R7 is producing, right here, right now. Well not quite 'here', but you know-

  • Comment number 83.

    66.At 21:42 17th Jun 2012, Londoner in exile returns wrote:
    Two decent games tonight.

    __________________________

    Portugal vs Czech Republic in the quarter final , will be the easiest game for Portugal so far.

  • Comment number 84.

    I don't accept this nonsense that Rooney is our most creative and potent player. He's inconsistent in terms of goals for for United and he has never delivered for England on the big stage.

    Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard have always been our better players, let's stop hyping up this thug and cherish the contribution of those two midfielders.

  • Comment number 85.

    @ 80 Londoner

    Yes i've seen it before when teams who win their first two goup games then take it too easy or rest lots of players in their third. It can have a negative impact when they play in the knockout stages.

    I agree that Portugal have blown hot and cold so far but I think momentum is important in tournaments and in complete contrast to Russia have played better in each match.

  • Comment number 86.

    I really want England to throw off the shackles. Drop Milner and Young, play the Ox, Walcott, Rooney and Welbeck and really go for the throat. Unfortunately, it may not be the attack or the defense that really lacks class at this tournament, but the midfield. Gerrard is a great player when he has the safety net of two holding players, when he has to be tactically aware, not so much. Parker looks great tearing around for tackles, except the reason he has to tear around making tackles is that he is so far out of position it's embarrassing. When Wilshere and Cleverley come of age, we may have a good enough midfield.

  • Comment number 87.

    swiss colony @73

    He shouldn't be there England win more games without him that with him. His temperament is a liability and his performences in the last two world cups show he doesn't have what it takes at tournaments. REmember how we failed to even qualify for 2008? Our 'talisman' was an integral part of that team...
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yep he was a part of 'that team' but this is a different team, at a different time, with a different manager, who employs different tactics.

    I've seen the stats that stated we won more games without Rooney, than with him.

    The thing about those stats they did not take into account the opposition, or how the rest of the team performed. Just a couple of factors that have a massive impact on an individual players stats, in a team game.

  • Comment number 88.

    Rooney is a disgrace to England! An overpaid and very objectionable person. Keep the present team. Who needs this hooligan?

  • Comment number 89.

    85.At 22:15 17th Jun 2012, BaggiosPonytail wrote:
    I agree that Portugal have blown hot and cold so far but I think momentum is important in tournaments and in complete contrast to Russia have played better in each match.
    ________________________________

    I always said that if Portugal get out of the group of death they could win the thing. I put 25 Euros on Portugal to win at 25:1 :)

    I think they win beat the Czechs , and if they get Spain in the semis they will beat them , Spain do not like playing Portugal as they have a poor record against them.

  • Comment number 90.

    83.
    At 22:13 17th Jun 2012, repo wrote:


    66.At 21:42 17th Jun 2012, Londoner in exile returns wrote:
    Two decent games tonight.

    __________________________

    Portugal vs Czech Republic in the quarter final , will be the easiest game for Portugal so far.
    ______________________________________

    I'm not sure about that. The Netherlands were awful! The Czechs were well orgainsed against Poland and I would expect Portugal to be more cautious than they were against the Netherlands.

    I would make Portugal slight favourites on paper but it all depends on how they play against the Czechs on the day.

  • Comment number 91.

    repo @83

    yep they will start favs and probably hot favs, for that one.

    Portugal are fairly easy to assess, reliable and they play to a system and stick to it.

    The Czechs almost impossible to assess, in fact they are a nightmare for betting purposes.

  • Comment number 92.

    @ 83 repo

    SHOULD be the easiest game for Portugal so far. But, agree they will probably be in the semis now.

  • Comment number 93.

    @81

    Ok, I'll stop the silliness- been a great day of football and simply do not want to initiate the sort of stuff that went on yesterday.

    I've noticed that all sides have had poor periods during games such as Poland yesterday who's lack of initiative- well just simply shocking. Netherlands even more so, they just simply couldn't control the game. And R7 coming good at just the wrong time for them. Mmm, much more to comment on today!

  • Comment number 94.

    92.At 22:23 17th Jun 2012, Frank Black wrote:
    SHOULD be the easiest game for Portugal so far. But, agree they will probably be in the semis now.
    _________________________

    And they are Spain´s bogey team
    Soul Patch will be sweating over that one :)

  • Comment number 95.

    93.At 22:25 17th Jun 2012, Avonns wrote:
    And R7 coming good at just the wrong time for them. Mmm, much more to comment on today!
    ________________________

    Nani has been crap so far , imagine if Nani and Ronaldo fire on all cylinders at the same time !
    They will be a right handfull for anybody.

  • Comment number 96.

    @ 94 repo

    Of course this assumes Spain will get to the semis.....

  • Comment number 97.

    @ 94 repo

    ha, yes! Have you written England off then? ;)

  • Comment number 98.

    Personally, I think Rooney should take his place on the bench for the simple reason that I think it's dangerous to let any player believe he is an automatic selection. Let's not forget that he's been out due to his own stupidity rather than misfortune, and he's not exactly lit up tournaments in the past.

    However, I think it's very likely he will start and for me Ashley Young should be the player dropped. He's not looked good either centrally or on the flank and in fact certainly cost us the first goal v Sweden by leaving Mellberg on his own. He's created nothing and been next-to-no threat. It would be harsh to leave out either Carroll or Welbeck given that they both scored and scored well. Welbeck's improvisation was excellent and Carroll scored a goal which no-one else in the squad could have, let's be honest. But Hodgson won't play all three. It's virtually certain he'll bow to the media who seem to love Welbeck and drop Carroll.

    And to anyone saying it would be unfair to slate Rooney if he doesn't have a great game, rubbish. It would be equally unfair to NOT slate him if he has a bad one. If he plays he should be treated in the match and post-match just like anyone else, with no allowances either way. He should earn his shirt like everyone else. He threw it away by his own stupidity, it's up to him to prove he deserves it again

  • Comment number 99.

    97.
    At 22:33 17th Jun 2012, Frank Black wrote:


    @ 94 repo

    ha, yes! Have you written England off then? ;)
    ________________________________

    Croatia too?

  • Comment number 100.

    97.At 22:33 17th Jun 2012, Frank Black wrote:
    ha, yes! Have you written England off then? ;)
    ________________________

    No , I have England down for group winners so they will be in the other half of the draw :)

 

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