Gary Neville has reflected on Wayne Rooney’s red card in England’s Euro 2012 qualifying game against Montenegro on Friday.
Rooney will now miss at least one game in the tournament next summer but Neville reckons the media attention our striker has received since has distracted people from the real issues, such as the fact England just aren’t very good.
“My heart sunk as I watched Wayne Rooney being sent off,” said Neville. “But not for the same reason as most people watching the game, who will be talking about how he never learns and how he lets everyone down. The most disappointing thing about his red card is that it distracts from the major issue. 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. When I look at it coldly, a team that has John Terry, Gary Cahill, Scott Parker, Gareth Barry, Darren Bent and Rooney in its central positions is nowhere near good enough to take on the major nations such as Spain.”
Neville has also reflected on the hopes this country has pinned on his former Manchester United team mates, Rooney and David Beckham, ahead of International tournaments.
“Going into major tournaments we always put all our pressure and hopes on one man,” he said. “I’ve seen it before with Rooney in 2006 and 2010 or David Beckham in 2002. Even before them, it was Kevin Keegan or Bryan Robson in the Seventies and Eighties.”