Rooney returns as England’s familiar bête noire

The red mist, they say, descended before Wayne Rooney kicked out at Miodrag Dzudovic during’s England’s 2-2 draw in Montenegro on Friday night. The draw ensured Fabio Capello’s side qualified for Euro 2012 but Saturday’s headlines were focused firmly on Rooney after the red card, which ensures the Manchester United striker will miss the start of the tournament, to be held in Poland and Ukraine next summer. After all the nation’s writers are well versed in the cod psychology of post-dismissal analysis: it followed Rooney’s previous red in England colours, received against Portugal at World Cup 2006.

The debate, for want of a far better word, will continue after Saturday’s incident. Very little of it will be about the red itself, which goalkeeper Joe Hart described as the “most pathetic” dismissal he had seen. In truth referee Wolfgang Stark had little choice but to issue red after Rooney’s kick at Dzudovic, with the player’s frustration at losing out on a routine challenge converted into violence not for the first time in the 25-year-old’s career.

Plus ça change. Rooney is what he is.

The red is, of course, manna from heaven for the nation’s hacks though, who will now be able to continue the Rooney debate into the tournament itself, with the United striker likely to miss at least one group match after the dismissal. Further suspension depends on UEFA’s interpretation of the 73rd minute incident.

Capello made little attempt to defend his star player, although the Italian was quick to dismiss any notion that dropping the player was ever in the picture prior to the game. After all Rooney’s father and uncle were arrested in the past week on suspicion of being involved in a betting scam.

“It’s a red card,” admitted coach Capello.

“You can’t defend that. I’m not happy, absolutely. I spoke with him. He made a silly mistake and he said: ‘Yes, sorry.’ More than that, I can’t do. He made a silly mistake when he kicked the opponent and he will now not be able to play the first game in the Euros. He was not happy because he missed some control and some passes. For this reason, I think he reacted. I can’t enter into the head of Wayne Rooney when he plays. I can speak before. But the reaction of the players, you cannot understand during the game, why things happen. Not just Rooney.”

The player’s dismissal is a bonus for United though with Rooney not only missing games at Euro 2012 but with Capello likely to experiment during England’s friendly matches before the tournament. The less Rooney plays during spring 2012 international fixtures, the fresher the striker will be for United’s crucial Premier and Champions league games towards the season’s end.

“He’s a really important player with a lot of experience, and he’s played really important games,” added Capello.

“But he’s made a silly mistake. We will find a solution to play without him. We will try something in the next games, the friendlies that we play, to prepare for the future.”

In the meantime the clichéd analysis will continue as journalists the nation over roll out the dictionary of pithy football-speak. Rooney was “immature” or “angry”; it was perhaps the “red mist” or just that old favourite, “petulance.” Pundits will proclaim the striker as a “risk” for Capello at Euro 2012 and some, several perhaps, will urge Capello to drop United’s in-form forward from the squad altogether.

Indeed, former England full-back Gary Neville is right when he points to the distraction Rooney’s card brings from an average England side that has little hope of winning the tournament itself.

“The most disappointing thing about his red card is that it distracts from the major issue,” Neville told the Mail on Sunday.

“With England, we’re always looking for an excuse; we’re always caught up in the minor rather than the major. The real issue is that the spine of the team is not good enough, as it stands, to take on Spain, Italy, France or Germany at Euro 2012.”

Should Rooney face Spain at Wembley this coming November he will enter the field, no doubt, to the sound of jeers from the north London crowd. England fans – very few of which hail from the red side of Manchester – have rarely taken to United’s players in any case. The feeling is mutual, with few Reds having forgotten the boos that greeted United’s players during the 1990s, or the effigy of David Beckham hung high following the midfielder’s dismissal at the 1998 World Cup in France.

Yet much of this supporter anger is fuelled by a media so keen to scandalise. Lionised for his wonderful domestic form, so many hacks have now jumped on the opportunity to criticise. “An Idiot Abroad,” “Roonatic” and “Roo Fool!” were just three of the less polite headlines to appear in Saturday’s papers. Many more will follow in the weeks and months to come.

Rooney’s England red is unlikely to concern too many United supporters. After all, there is perhaps some irony that media or England fan ire towards the striker may well strengthen United supporters’ relationship with the 25-year-old. While Rooney is a hero on the pitch at Old Trafford the player’s ‘October Revolution’ reminded many supporters that players are little more than employees of the club after the best deal.

But United fans are more loyal than most. Certainly than those that support the national team. In that Rooney will receive a huge reception the next time he turns out at Old Trafford, especially if the negative headlines continue.

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Comments

  1. MufcForever says

    Awesome article, just one thing wrong, he was sent off in the World cup in 2006. Not in Euro 2008, England didn’t qualify for that.

  2. Yang says

    Hope Rooney learn from mistake but will he?
    He will regret if he can not achieve anything at international level. Pinnacle of football is still national team performance. Many great players cannot got any notable achievement in national team so only get less of recognition which is shame.

  3. Ashish says

    I don’t know about the various media outlets making a case for Rooney to be dropped altogether from the England squad but the red card which Rooney got is deserved.

    But Rooney can blame no one but himself for practically suspending himself for the first 2 games in Euro 2012 after what happened.

    Having said that,England cannot use Rooney’s absence to excuse themselves if they happen to perform poorly next year.

    I mean,England have plenty of options in absence of Rooney don’t they?

  4. Ashish says

    I wonder how would United fans react had Rooney done something foolish to get himself sent off and subsequently risked missing the semi finals or the finals of the Champions League.

    Would they defend Rooney??

    Rooney has done something foolish to make himself unavailable for Euro 2012 and if he really feels as if he’s done something stupid last Friday,then he ought to apologise for his foolishness.

    Otherwise it will appear that he deliberately got sent off in order to avoid playing for England.

    • shauno says

      As a united fan I would be be disappointed if Rooney missed games for united whatever the reason. But this is England and most United fans don’t give a fuck. However, Rooney seems to want to play for England so to suggest that he got sent off deliberately to avoid playing for England…have a word with yourself ! I wish it was true. Rather he was a United legend than an England legend or even England player. The older I get the less English I feel.

  5. han says

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    them capello cunts are embarrassing, get him out ffs speccy itie cunt

    racist fuckhead as well as short sighted tree shagger u r

  6. triggs says

    It all matters very little. Whether Rooney is banned for one game or ten, England’ll stick with the shithouses who are good PL players but not (or no longer) technically good enough for international football, e.g. Terry, Parker, Barry, Lampard, Walcott, Downing, Bent.

  7. reddread says

    Well, Capello says he’ll be on the bench at best for the friendlies between now and the Euros. Good news for United, that.

  8. says

    I’d rather a group of good premiership players who work together than the big time charlies of the last ten years who played as individuals. Some people just will never get it.

  9. SKW says

    Only care in as much as this affects his attitude in United colors. England are dire and unworthy of attention. The typical reaction of the British media, however, continues to pain. I’ve had to put up with ridiculous story after ridiculous story during the rugby WC about England — and now this. British media are simply the worst.

  10. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Commenter said:
    British media are simply the worst.

    No it’s not… US media is much worse… it’s just that the Yanks don’t have be so miserable about their national sports… they’re actually quite good at them.

    • SKW says

      You can proffer plenty of problems with the US media and I will readily agree with them, but they do not go to nearly the lengths their cousins do when it comes to entrapment. Nobody in the US is tapping phones, for example, and I defy you to find coverage bent on scandal and negativity of a US team at a world event. If anything, the American media are too positive on such occasions.

      The obsession with tearing down people and teams and finding minute things and spinning them into scandals — a few 20 year olds having a laugh at a girl’s expense becomes national news story during the Rugby WC? — is ridiculous. The Media’s treatment of Rooney is perfect point and fact. They don’t want him to do well. And here we already have a scandal and a scapegoat BEFORE the tournament even starts next summer. Thankfully, I won’t be watching. So they can play their silly old games.

  11. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    reddread said:
    Well, Capello says he’ll be on the bench at best for the friendlies between now and the Euros. Good news for United, that.

    I agree that it is good news for England, but I don’t understand Rooney’s being available for England at any point between being sent off and the end of his suspension. Does anyone know the reasoning behind this?

  12. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    ltel said:
    hes only banned in euro championships. free to play friendlies and stuff as far as i understand

    Yes, I get that, what I don’t understand is why. Isn’t playing for England playing for England regardless of the stakes? Shouldn’t he be barred from playing for England until his suspension has been served?

  13. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    ltel said:
    its like getting a ban in champions league. you can still play in the premier league

    I’ll try to get this posted before someone jumps in to point out that the Champions League is overseen by UEFA, while the Premier League belongs to the FA. I think I get it. England is, at different times, representing the FA (friendlies), UEFA (the European Cup), and FIFA (the World Cup). So, since Rooney has not been banned by the FA, he can play friendlies.

  14. Violent Banana says

    Am I right in saying he’s only been sent off twice in his entire competitive United career? And the last time was in March 2009? Hardly a serial offender.

    Neville’s right, England were playing dog well before Rooney’s red. And I for one am delighted if he doesn’t make the squad for the friendlies – we’ll need him in peak condition for our run in.

  15. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    The unbelievable cheek, of these self serving cunts.
    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,,20876_7234806,00.html
    If he’d done that whilst playing for United in the PL… I have no doubt at all, that they’d want him banned for 3 matches… at least.
    But because it’s England, and they know how crucial he is to the team… they’ll “work very hard behind the scenes to ensure that we are prepared to support him in any way we can.”
    Two-faced cocks.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  16. Ken says

    You guys think that the media has an agenda against United? Come on.
    Remember the John Terry saga? That Torres miss? How they always pick on Balotelli? Don’t get me started on Arsenal.
    Point is, if a player does something silly there’s always going to be media attention. This happens to every club so suck it up.
    PS interesting read on ROM on how the FA is ironic.

  17. Sidsidney says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    The unbelievable cheek, of these self serving cunts.

    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,,20876_7234806,00.html

    If he’d done that whilst playing for United in the PL… I have no doubt at all, that they’d want him banned for 3 matches… at least.

    But because it’s England, and they know how crucial he is to the team… they’ll “work very hard behind the scenes to ensure that we are prepared to support him in any way we can.”

    Two-faced cocks.

    Total cunts

  18. dozer says

    RobDiablo said:
    FA to appeal. On what grounds? Do they not give out suspensions of exactly the same number of games for exactly the same kind of offenses? Hypocritical twats!

    Lol, if Uefa increase the ban to counter a ‘frivolous appeal’ then that’ll show the FA.

  19. Dinkinflicker says

    Oh I’d love to be a fly on the wall at the FA HQ. I’m laughing my tits off at this. The only fly in the ointment is that this might fuck with his head and lead to another downturn in form like 12 months ago.

  20. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    cringe worthy that the fa are gonna consider appealing, what if this was another swearing incident and hed been given two games same as the fa gave him, made a rod for their own back yet again

  21. Sidsidney says

    Dinkinflicker said:
    Oh I’d love to be a fly on the wall at the FA HQ. I’m laughing my tits off at this. The only fly in the ointment is that this might fuck with his head and lead to another downturn in form like 12 months ago.

    Aye. He has to survive being the scapegoat from now ’til summer. I reckon he’ll get booed at away grounds.

    Mind you there is so much apathy surrounding England as people comes to terms with the very real possibility of seeing Crouch & Bent start up front, I’m not sure people are that arsed

  22. reddread says

    Three game ban for that? Really? What bollocks. Thought it was a one game for a straight red, which could be increased for violent conduct. I’d hardly call what Rooney did violent conduct. Now he is in danger of being left out of the squad altogether, which is bound to fuck with his head. He is a lot more sensitive than people think, the lad. Time for Fergie to have a quiet word in Capello shell-like, methinks…

  23. reddread says

    sidney said:
    Aye. He has to survive being the scapegoat from now ’til summer. I reckon he’ll get booed at away grounds.

    Mind you there is so much apathy surrounding England as people comes to terms with the very real possibility of seeing Crouch & Bent start up front, I’m not sure people are that arsed

    Sid, that is exactly why he’ll be booed. A fit Rooney is the only chance Ingerlund have of winning the Euros, and opposition fans will know that and treat him accordingly, just like they did Becks after 1998. This time there is no Ronaldo to take the heat off him.

  24. says

    reddread said:
    Sid, that is exactly why he’ll be booed. A fit Rooney is the only chance Ingerlund have of winning the Euros, and opposition fans will know that and treat him accordingly, just like they did Becks after 1998. This time there is no Ronaldo to take the heat off him.

    Lets be honest J. even with a fit Rooney England have no chance of winning the Euros.

  25. Sidsidney says

    It’s almost as if people are just waiting for the Euros to be over so we can get rid of Capello – who’s won everything and plays 442 – and replace him with Redknapp who’s won nothing and will play 442 but be all cockney and talk about passion

  26. says

    A big blow for England and United. I’m a firm believer that you want all your players to do well in internationals – it makes them better players. Injury risk aside – you still want them to do well.

    Rooney will be damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t by non-United England fans. If he plays, he’s a cunt for not scoring for fun like he does for his club. If he doesn’t he’s a cunt because he doesn’t give a shit about England. This is just bitterness and anger and pure hypocrisy.

    This is where Fergal transcends all; his man-management is unmatched and he’ll make sure Rooney puts this into perspective, i.e., use that anger to United’s advantage.

    Still, poor Rooney. Not great at all. We can take the piss out of England all we like but you can tell he really gives a shit about it so you that shld be respected.

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