Sven shows Fergie his ruthless side
- 8 Jun 06, 03:29 PM
BADEN-BADEN - Easily the most dramatic day so far at England's opulent World Cup media centre.
Early whispers that Sven-Goran Eriksson would read a brief, prepared statement on Wayne Rooney's fitness then decline further questions set the pulses racing for the world's media.
And Eriksson did not disappoint in what was seen by almost everyone afterwards as putting Sir Alex Ferguson firmly in his place when it comes to Rooney's immediate World Cup future.
My take was that this was very much an "I'm in charge" message to those wondering who will decide Rooney's World Cup destiny.
The statement was cleverly pitched, appealing to "40m England fans" - knowing every last one (bar maybe a few inside Old Trafford) wants to see Rooney in action in Germany.
It was a show of steel Eriksson normally keeps away from the public gaze - but an impressive piece of authority which may raise a smirk or two from those used to Sir Alex and United calling the shots.
Eriksson and the FA's insistence that there should be no further questions or comment on the Rooney affair was always going to fall on deaf ears.
A German colleague asked me would the English media faithfully adhere to this request and strike Rooney from the questions on their agenda. The laughter gave her a clue.
Not a chance. Not on this story.
So it proved as the FA media representatives had to struggle to keep the debate away from Rooney when David Beckham and Steven Gerrard were wheeled in.
There was a real buzz afterwards as journalists gave their own interpretation on what might have been the coded messages in Sven's missive.
Why am I certain we have not heard the last of this?
Do you think Sven was laying down the law to Sir Alex over Rooney? Let me know.