Sven turns the tables on Ferguson
- 9 Jun 06, 10:57 AM
ON A BUS BOUND FOR FRANKFURT - The fall-out from Sven-Goran Eriksson's brief but dramatic address about Wayne Rooney is still the day's hot topic as we move along the autobahn to Frankfurt for England's opening game tomorrow.
Even Eriksson's detractors were impressed by the way he finally laid the law down to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson - a bit like a wife who has been nagged once too often and finally decided to chuck her husband's suitcases on the front step.
The worm certainly turned - and almost everyone here with England has said "good on Sven", with the most galling part for the usually all-powerful Sir Alex being that there is not a single thing he can do about it.
And for all the talk of rows, doctors, insurance and injuries, Sven has got the bit between his teeth and the word is we will be seeing Rooney sooner rather than later, whether Ferguson and Manchester United like it or not.
Eriksson, a man with little to lose apart from a World Cup, will not be having any dealings with either party come the start of July, so he can make his decision confident he won't be getting the hair-dryer (or Herr Dryer as The Mirror brilliantly put it) treatment from Ferguson down the line.
Of course this is a story that simply won't go away, and in amid all the theatrics there may be one man smiling a little nervously.
Namely England boss-in-waiting Steve McClaren.
He has a good relationship with both Eriksson and Ferguson, but you just wonder whether he will be seeing Wayne for too many friendlies after this fracas.
Sir Alex, like an elephant, never forgets. And he certainly won't forget being made to look as powerless as he has in the last 48 hours, with everyone who has ever felt his wrath having a little chuckle behind their hands.
England may have won this battle, but McClaren could be the man who loses the war.
As we move forward to Frankfurt, the adventure is over for Jermain Defoe, who is returning home to England after Rooney's recovery meant he had to drop out of the squad.
I'd love to know what England's players feel about this in the light of their comments about Defoe. Could it be they are not happy to see him go?
Listen to David Beckham: "Jermain is one of the best strikers in Europe - no doubt."
Step forward Steven Gerrard: "Jermain has been really professional and showed a great attitude in training. He's a fantastic talent and it is sad to see him go home."
Don't you think they might have mentioned this to Sven before he picked Owen Hargreaves or Theo Walcott?
England are not alone in having burning selection issues.
Germany captain Michael Ballack has been doing a bit of hokey-cokey about his own chances of playing in the opening game against Costa Rica.
He was out. Now according to today's German newspapers he's telling everyone he's in and wants to play.
Germany are clearly in total disarray. Get your money on them.