When Wayne Rooney was banned for three games for a straight red against Montenegro in qualifying, England manager at the time, Fabio Capello, claimed it was his fault.
Following England’s failure at Euro 2012, Roy Hodgson seemed to put some of the blame of Rooney’s shoulders, despite his winning goal against the Ukraine. He also hinted that Rooney’s absence from the first two games contributed to his form against Italy.
Capello then seemingly agreed with Hodgson, claiming that our striker only plays well for United.
This has then prompted Hodgson to leap to Rooney’s defence, at long last, after building him up as England’s “Pele” before the tournament started.
Fabio Capello – December 9th 2011
Fabio Capello earned a one-match reprieve for Wayne Rooney by telling the UEFA appeal hearing the striker was paying for his mistake. Capello told the panel he should have taken Rooney off after 45 minutes of the match, having realised he was struggling to deal with the dramatic news of the day before when his father and uncle were arrested over an alleged betting scam.
Roy Hodgson – June 26th 2012
“He certainly tried very hard but he didn’t have his best game. I think he would admit that. That might be down to a number of factors but I don’t think fitness was a particular one. You can put a lot of things down to fitness but there was no reason for us to doubt his fitness. His running stats in the training sessions and the games were actually very good. But I think we put a lot of expectations on him. When he missed the first two games through suspension, we all believed that what we needed to do then was get to the third game and Wayne would win us the championships. That maybe was too much to ask of him. In the knockout stage, you really are hoping the player you know who can turn the game on its head and turn the game in your favour is flying and able to do so. That wasn’t the case for us and so it became more of a battling team performance. We haven’t noticed anything with his fitness levels. We’ve monitored his fitness levels and in training he has looked very fit. In the first game he didn’t show any particular signs of lacking fitness and he played the 120 minutes against Italy. I think what you might be saying is you’re a bit disappointed with his performance and you maybe thought he could have played better.”
Fabio Capello – June 27th 2012
“After seeing the latest game (against Italy) I think Rooney only understands Scottish. That’s because he only plays well in Manchester, where Sir Alex Ferguson speaks Scottish.”
Roy Hodgson – June 28th 2012
“Capello is entitled to his opinions, I suppose. I don’t know what relationship he would have had with Wayne but I always think it’s a bit cheap to kid on a player who was so anxious to do well. His attitude was magnificent. He was putting in extra work in training because he was concerned he was behind the others having missed the first two games through suspension. He was trying to do extra work and we were trying to put the brakes on. His desire to do well was enormous. In the final game he, along with one or two other players, didn’t play to the level he can but that’s what football is about. If every player was a robot and played at the same level in every game then football would be a very simple game and we wouldn’t need coaches.”