World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

Wayne, Wayne go away?

phil_mcnulty.gifON A BUS BOUND FOR NUREMBERG - Wayne Rooney is definitely playing. He looks in fantastic shape and it's great to see him with the England number nine shirt on again.

Sadly, it is only on the dvd currently keeping us entertained on the three-hour drive from Baden-Baden to Nuremberg, a morale-boosting repeat showing of England's 3-2 win against Argentina in Geneva.

A replay perhaps, but proof again that no matter where you look, there is no escaping Rooney.

And so it was again today, with another rash of Rooney speculation ahead of the game against Trinidad and Tobago.

Every hint and whisper at England training on Tuesday was that Rooney would be involved, not as a starter but certainly as a late impact substitute.

Now there are suggestions that Sven-Goran Eriksson is under pressure from senior FA figures to hold Rooney back rather than risk a potential row with Manchester United by putting him back in prematurely.

Given Sven's belligerent stand on Rooney's condition - he will decide when he is match fit - any alleged stand-off could prove interesting because Eriksson has little to lose by actually telling the FA to sling their hook.

After all he's finished with them in a month, or even sooner.

One thing is for certain, it would be worth paying for tickets to see the scenes should the FA stick with their recent "no Rooney questions" policy when Eriksson meets the media later.

(Editor's note: We are planning to stream the conference live later (UK users only) at approx 1600 BST, so check it out yourself!)

I suspect the policy would be put to the most severe test. And rightly so.

For those hoping for cooler temperatures than those which troubled England's players so much in Frankfurt for the opening game, I bring bad news from Nuremberg.

We are just pulling up at the hotel, and if anything, it is even hotter than on Saturday.

There has been talk of a thunderstorm before tomorrow, but as yet no sign.

Meanwhile, back in Baden-Baden they have found a novel way to honour their sporting icons - in the shape of a pizza.

At the Baden-Baden tennis club you can tuck into a Pizza Steffi Graf, Pizza Anke Huber, and of course a Pizza Boris Becker.

And in a touching tribute to an adopted son of Germany, you even have a slice of Steffi's husband with a Pizza Andre Agassi.

Me? Steffi of course - and very tasty too.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 02:23 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Mike wrote:

As far as the temperatures go I have been telling friends since the Paraguay game that it maybe a 5pm (6pm local) kick off, but the hottest temps will have only just been peaked and it will be just as difficult, my sister lives close to Nuremburg and boy can it get hot.

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  • 2.
  • At 02:29 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Al wrote:

Surely it would make sense not to play Rooney anyway in the group stages which England should now win comfortably without him.
Then his impacy against the better teams will be even greater - he'll be fresher, no chance of picking up further injury in the Group stages, and teams will be less informed as to how England will play.

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  • 3.
  • At 02:31 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Andy Norton wrote:

The continuing discussion regarding Sven's use of Rooney is, as per usual, being blown out of all proportion by the media. Why on earth do people think that Sven will risk Rooney in the group stages? Is it because Sven says " I will use him when I see fit"? What does Sven mean by this?.....nothing. Does he want to keep the opposition guessing who they will have to mark...YES. Why make it easy for the opposition to formulate tactics. The answer is Sven doesn't want to give his cards away just yet, so use your heads and get off his back.
Come on England!

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  • 4.
  • At 02:34 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Davinho wrote:

Whilst I think that it's important that Sven, with the advice of the medical team, should have the last word on whether or not Rooney should play, I can certainly understand the apprehension of Man.U. who are, after all, his employers. Man.U. have a huge financial investment in Rooney, and stand to lose a great deal if he was to suffer a serious injury.
It would be a shame if it was necessary to play him against T&T, because that would mean that we couldn't get the necessary result without him. One thing is for sure, T&T will be FULLY committed in this game, and will be tackling hard, as they did against Sweden. I would suggest that injury is more likely in a full blooded tie against a revved up T&T than in the game against the more controlled Swedes.

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  • 5.
  • At 02:38 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • MickS wrote:

Eriksson would be wise to play Rooney for a short period in both of the remaining group games if he believes that he is fit enough. It is going to take time for him to get match fit and the more playing time he can get the better.

We don't want Rooney starting in the knockout stages, when he'll be needed more, still trying to get to grips with pace of the game.

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  • 6.
  • At 02:56 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Paul Atyeo wrote:

Rooney is I'm sure itching to play and with his well known temperamental problems is it probably better to use up some of that over enthusiastic energy before it gets him into trouble.

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  • 7.
  • At 03:02 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Aubrey Bratha wrote:

I will be good of Ericson to give Rooney at least 20 minutes of play in the second half.Infact he can start with Theo and Crouch.

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  • 8.
  • At 03:04 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Adrian wrote:

Rooney or no Rooney I'm hoping England have a couple more gears to get into - they were poor against Paraguay. Plus, let's hope that our manager has figured out that the team do not play well with Gerrard and Lampard in it.
If England do well in this tournament - and that is a big if - we will have needed the usual skill, effort and luck as all winners previously have had. But we also will have to do this in spite of Sven and not because of him.

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  • 9.
  • At 03:27 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Robben wrote:


Why all the fuss about Rooney playing or not and when and why? Doesn't the fact remain that England will not win the worl cup? It is just the British press hyping everything about an otherwise average and artless soccer side.

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  • 10.
  • At 03:36 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • dave walker wrote:

lets face it rooney has to play, because we never looked like scoring without him. in fact we didn't score it was an own goal.
Italy have been the most impressive team so far and in all honesty do you believe Crouch and Owen would trouble Nesta, Cannavaro etc?

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  • 11.
  • At 03:58 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Davinho wrote:

It appears that, no matter what the subject, some people find an excuse to stick the boot into England. For the record, Dave Walker, I think that Crouch and Owen would prove a handful for most defences if they were given the right service. In addition, they aren't the only options available to us, and we have a squad that has different skills available according to the opponent that is put in front of us. You and some others on here may well be proved right - England may not win the world cup - but it will take a good team to beat us, and there is no stand out team so far. There's a long way to go in this tournament, and plenty of time for injuries, suspensions etc. to take their toll, the strength of the squad will tell in the end - it's no good just having a first rate starting XI - you need back up! England shouldn't be written off & nor should some of the other top nations that have under - performed. It's easy to come on here and say "..so what about... England won't win the world cup" - very constructive..... NOT. COME ON ENGLAND!

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  • 12.
  • At 04:10 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Michael wrote:

It is only a matter of time before England are seriously embarassed by their lack of a fit effective striker, bizarre squad selection and indecisive tactics. It is nonsense to suggest Owen will come good when his body language says the opposite. Steve McLaren, the next England manager, will not be able to avoid responsibility either as he is part of the coaching team participating in this muddle. Sven and his team have had ages to prepare for this tournament and now are poised to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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  • 13.
  • At 04:15 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Mandy wrote:

I wish the press would stop chanting on about Wayne Rooney, Lets get behind all the lads, and remember there is no I in TEAM.

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  • 14.
  • At 04:17 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Mandy wrote:

I wish the press would stop chanting on about Wayne Rooney, Lets get behind all the lads, and remember there is no I in TEAM.

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  • 15.
  • At 04:25 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Amir wrote:

england is not a good team, they have only 3 or 4 great players, when other teams like brazil have 11 great players in there side. england cannot play the game despite the players and the excuses over players such as rooney, england is not strong side they like little chickens getting pushed around from strong teams, they cant pass,they have no pace, neither england can keep the ball for long under pressure. england needs to build a strong team, i think seven needs to put alot of pressure on players in the training sessions make the players suffer through training, in that way, team will get strong and quick.

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  • 16.
  • At 04:26 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Mizuno wrote:

If Rooney plays, he will be standing on the pitch just like Ronaldo did last night.

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Playing Rooney now would give the team a one dimensional face, and make the other players feel that without Rooney they cant win a game. If England cant beat T&T without Rooney, with all due respect, they shouldnt be there. Rooney shouldnt be playing till the Last 16, at the earliest

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  • 18.
  • At 04:45 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • paul L wrote:

England should be able to win without rooney BUT the game as shown on sat is boring! its a fast moving sport so we need a fast moving player to win, rooney seems to have more drive to win then any of the other strikers and we should alow him to play, at the end of the day he could tell Man U to do one and he could walk into another team with ease! its his choise, his foot and his world cup to win!

as a man U fan my message is rooney, go win for us!

when you get back to manchester i would have strong words with the management for getting rid of the man who fixed you and i would not be pushed around by fergi!

he wont be aloud to do another "beckham" the directors will boot him first (we hope)

good luck boys!!

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  • 19.
  • At 04:52 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Bonnie wrote:

Come on England - im fed up with everyone complaining about England, so what if we didnt play well on Saturday - we have got to the finals and thats all that matters!! Im proud to be English and belive we can do it!!

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  • 20.
  • At 05:01 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Lou poo wrote:

It doesnt matter how good Rooney is.

He can't pass the ball to himself the whole game.

Football is a TEAM game.

England won't win if they rely on Rooney to fulfil there dreams!!!!

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  • 21.
  • At 05:10 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • matt corns wrote:

Is anyone else struggling with the camera angles? The view is either to far away or too close. It puts me off watching!

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  • 22.
  • At 05:11 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Matt wrote:

Is anyone else struggling with the camera angles? The view is either to far away or too close. It puts me off watching!

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  • 23.
  • At 05:15 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Dave wrote:

I can see the point about playing Rooney against T&T, but it seems a good idea to me to give him a short run-out against Sweden - say, the last 15-20 mins - just to give him some match practice....always assuming, of course, that we do beat T&T..............

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  • 24.
  • At 05:16 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • kimi wrote:

Wayne Rooney this, Wayne Rooney that! wat about all the other players, who are playing great and no one says anything its just wayne Rooney. Peter Crouch has played brilliant in Waynes place and i think hes earned that place on the squad and shouldnt have to go back on the bench all because Wayne Rooneys back to fitness. Anyway i dont think Wayne Rooney needs to play in any of the group matches because our lads have already got them sorted. Frank Lampard and Joe Cole keep up the good work!

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  • 25.
  • At 05:22 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Robin wrote:

Urmmm i thought you were streaming the England Press Conference at 4.00!! What happened??? Came on here to see it and it wasnt there?? Why not???

Claire S, blog editor here:
We were intending to stream the conference but as sometimes happens with these things, circumstances overtook us and we were not able to do so. Sorry.
We have shown many of them live and will continue to endeavour to do so.
In the meantime, the highlights from today will be up on this story soon - they are being edited as I write.
https://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/
world_cup_2006/teams/england/5078366.stm

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  • 26.
  • At 05:52 PM on 14 Jun 2006,
  • Brian wrote:

If Rooney didn't exist we'd have the existing 22 and one other and as a proud Englishman I'd still believe England can win the world cup. And do.

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