Wayne, Wayne go away?
- 14 Jun 06, 01:07 PM
ON 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.