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Rooney Ready To Be A Scapegoat?

Following a draw with France and victory over Sweden, the English national team are in a good position to qualify for the quarter-finals. However, Russia went in to their final game with the same number of points a couple of nights ago but after an unlikely defeat against Greece, were knocked out. England aren’t home and dry yet.

Thankfully for them, England will have Wayne Rooney in the starting line-up for their final group stage game against the Ukraine. The timing couldn’t be better. Having done most of the hard work already and getting by without their best player, thanks to a late winning goal from Danny Welbeck against Sweden, England fans and the press are made up that Rooney comes back in time to sure up qualification.

Alan Smith, The Telegraph: Rooney is special. By the sound of it, leaving him out never entered Hodgson’s head. The 26 year-old’s return should certainly help England to play between the lines a little better. For defenders or midfielders previously struggling for a pass, then, Rooney can make the difference with the angles he makes. He doesn’t always have to be in loads of space either. You know he can receive the ball under pressure. You know his technique won’t let him down. hether it’s a one-touch lay-off or something more intricate, Rooney’s involvement can make the side more patient in possession, simply because he offers the extra pass.

Kenny Dalglish, The Mirror: The return of Wayne Rooney to their side against Ukraine will be a huge boost to their chances at Euro 2012. I have heard some people saying that too much importance is being placed on the return of Rooney after suspension. Really? Let me tell you something: Rooney has few peers in the world game. And he has the ability to make the contribution in Donetsk on Tuesday night that will get England over the line and into the last eight. Rooney has every ingredient you need to be a great player and one of the most important of those is that he has retained his love of playing football. He has got everything.

Rio Ferdinand, The Sun: This is what Wazza loves. When it’s a crunch game and he has to do the business it doesn’t worry him at all. t is what being a world-class player is all about, you’re supposed to enjoy the big occasions and do your best work. It hasn’t always gone right for Wayne in the past in tournaments for different reasons like injury and getting sent off. But I know he has no fears about the fact he can do the job and do it well. He knows how good he is and what he is capable of doing and that he is a very gifted footballer.

The biggest talking up hasn’t come from the fans or the media though, but the England manager himself, comparing Rooney with Pele!

“If you look back through the years, if you take Pele for example, he was capable of producing his very best football when it really mattered to help Brazil win World Cups,” he said. “Let’s hope that Wayne Rooney can start to do that for us on Tuesday night and then, if we win, who knows? If Wayne can produce his best, then he can help us keep going even further.”

No pressure then eh?

England came in to this tournament for the first time in as long as I can remember with little to no expectation put on their shoulders. The squad is full of players from Liverpool, who had a dire season, there are several injuries, some of the best players got left at home, and following disappointing tournament after disappointing tournament, it’s finally seemed to hit people that England just aren’t that good. The “golden generation” is in its 30s now and they never managed to do the business, so why would this rabble?

However, a draw against France and scraping a win against Sweden, coupled with Rooney’s return, has raised expectations. I’m confident England will progress out of the groups and after missing out on the first two games, I’m sure Rooney will be fired up to have a good game, but you can’t help but imagine the alternative.

Rooney comes back in to the team, having not played a game of football for over a month, and isn’t as sharp has he might need to be. England play Ukraine, who know a win for them is enough to see them through to the quarters, and undoubtedly will be playing with more urgency.

Having got the results without Rooney, if they fail to get the required result with Rooney, who’s going to get the blame? Some might question Hodgson’s decision to change a winning team, pretending that they didn’t think that Rooney should walk straight back in to the starting line-up. Some might sensibly claim that England weren’t ever certain of getting out of the group in the first place. But you just know that the buck will stop with Rooney. He might even get wound up that England are losing, do something silly, and a referee will be all to glad to put his name in the book, or worse.

Am I exaggerating? Three out of four England penalty takers missed at the 2006 World Cup, but this country blamed England’s exit on Cristiano Ronaldo, for being one of five Portuguese players complaining to the ref about Rooney’s stamp. More reasonably but still ridiculous, England fans made effigies of David Beckham following the 1998 World Cup after his red card against Argentina. It was 2-2 when Beckham got sent off and it was 2-2 at full-time, yet again they failed on a penalty shoot-out (Batty and Ince missing) but it was the United’s man fault.

United have enjoyed great success the season following these tournaments. I certainly won’t complain about the booing opposition every week inspiring Beckham to help us win the Treble in 1998-1999 and Ronaldo to our first title in four years in 2006-2007. However, I’d be much happier to see Rooney get a goal or two tonight, maybe set one up for Welbeck too, and leave the scapegoating for someone else. Maybe one of those bloody Liverpool players!

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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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199 Comments

  1. CedarsDevil says:

    I still think Ribery is ugly as fuck……..Is that inappropriate??

  2. CedarsDevil says:

    Damn I missed that, had to take a piss!! France losing 1 nil

  3. Utd4life says:

    So the secret to be in the England squad is to get shafted for pace and then make these amazing goal line clearances. Oh, I would absolutely love it if England meet Spain in the QF’s.

  4. Shebangsthedrums says:

    I bet goal line tech comes in now England have benefitted from it. Just like they want a different match decider than penalty shoot out after the chavs won the camps league.

  5. CedarsDevil says:

    I seriously missed it, was a goal folks??

  6. Brendan says:

    Good lad Terry , what a clearance, Roy made the right decision takin him.

  7. cubs says:

    No

  8. Shebangsthedrums says:

    “benefitted from not having it”

  9. LoneStarRed says:

    Wazza looks gassed.

  10. Mikekelly12 says:

    Willie
    I’ve got 2-0 and 1-1 for france game so could do with a couple more goals!!!

  11. CedarsDevil says:

    Some folk are just full of shit

  12. cubs says:

    Yes goal no it is ok to mention hi reswembulance to Quzzi Motta.

  13. Utd4life says:

    Carroll the savior comes onto the pitch.

  14. CedarsDevil says:

    Hold your breath, Andy the Donkey is on

  15. Shebangsthedrums says:

    These commentators are full of shit!

  16. Mikekelly12 says:

    Terry is a right ugly fucker!

  17. cubs says:

    In cas of being one who’s leavle of shit thas ha reached full. An enimmmma wil help. I recomend wet and wild.

  18. LoneStarRed says:

    England midfield is worse than our makeshift ones from last season. Nothing distinctive done tonight. They will get run over next round.

  19. CedarsDevil says:

    Mike

    Not the place to discuss player looks mate

  20. Cyril Sneer says:

    Sorry lads, I apologise for my comments about Parker. He’s not as bad as me, he’s worse. Crap bastard makes me look like Zidane.

  21. cubs says:

    I like my women DeBushy

  22. Mikekelly12 says:

    Cedars
    You’re wrong! This us the beautiful republik of mancunia!!

  23. CedarsDevil says:

    Ha ha Sweden 2 nil up now…………Looks Like France v Spain

  24. Singh7 says:

    Commentator ..”not too many strikers at euro’s with Carrolls build and approach….there’s things he cant do but things only he can do”….”now England can now do that to relieve some pressure” …cue the ball pumped up to Pikey Carroll ,bounces off head and goes for Ukraine goal kick … yeah only he can do that and thank fuck for that ..What a load of shite

  25. The team that wouldn't die says:

    Robbery assault and battery!

  26. CedarsDevil says:

    Mike

    You’re full of shit mate

  27. Utd4life says:

    Can I get the last 90 minutes of my life back? That shit made me numb. And it’s going to get even worse. England v Italy. The misery continues.

  28. Shebangsthedrums says:

    Singh7 – my thoughts exactly mate.

  29. lawman10 says:

    England are shite, midfield what midfield & they slag of Greece.
    It seems if your shit you win cup this season.

  30. CedarsDevil says:

    Zlatan’s goal was class

  31. cubs says:

    2 wrong calls made it right!?!

  32. cubs says:

    The Zlatan of Swaat.

  33. Mikekelly12 says:

    Are we chelsea in disguise?!! Arrrrrrree we cheeeeeeeelsea iiiiin diiiiisssguise?!

  34. Cyril Sneer says:

    In case you didn’t know, it was Gerrard’s goal.

  35. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Costas….

    England v Greece in the semifinal ? Good as done mate. Germany and Italy can’t hold back.

    DESTINY :lol: :lol: :lol:

  36. CedarsDevil says:

    Joe Hart is gorgeous

  37. Costas says:

    A 5th official and a linesman can’t spot the ball crossing the line? Words fail me.

    Imo Ukraine deserved to go through, but this is the kind of game that makes me believe England might go all the way in this tournament.

    @Cyril

    Haha, it’s always Gerrard’s goal!

    @Fletch

    I’d LOVE for that to happen mate. The tournament’s most negative team and Greece facing off! :D

  38. Mikekelly12 says:

    Was it baby bird that sang “you’re gorgeous”?

  39. Fred says:

    Tyldsley after Johnson’s professional foul on Shevchenko to stop Ukraine breaking: “Shevchenko has bought himself a foul from Johnson.” I just can’t stand that kind of bias.

  40. WeAreUnited says:

    Sometimes I think that if we get Ibracadabra we vould get our number 7 and our “new” Cantona. He is very intelligent, whereever he goes he wins. No matter what.

    And I know people will state that Ibra is arrogant…. Yes he is, but his teammates seem not to care, so fuck it, we could need an Ibra. I knwo we have Dannyboy Chicha and Rooney, but just imagine our team with Ibra, CRAZY!

  41. WeAreUnited says:

    Of course this is in fantasy land, the transfer for Ibra, cause he is almost 30, but if it was up to me, I would surprise the world and buy him!!!!!!!!!!! whatever it takes.

  42. Mikekelly12 says:

    WeAreUnited
    Way out of our price range!

  43. WeAreUnited says:

    I know mate, and being real I don’t think we would get it, cause it’s not United standard bringing too arrogant players, but still imagine him with number 7 and scoring gals like that,

    It reminds me of Cantona. He has flair. and we have to remember that every players has its other side, so don’t let his arrogance fool you, because of that he is what he is. A top player

  44. Mikekelly12 says:

    Haha. Rooney wants hair like Carroll!!!

  45. Shebangsthedrums says:

    Can I just say a word for Larry Whites decision to drop Evra. Hahahahahaha. I hope Spain turn them over, unless Evra gets recalled. He may not have had his best season, but he’s still better than Cliche and I thought he did ok against England.

  46. WillieRedNut says:

    Our players have taken England to the QF. 8)

  47. LoneStarRed says:

    @Cubs 21:46 How about the The Great Ibrahimo or Zlatan the Great ?

  48. cubs says:

    LSR awesome. Love your mind. If shit hit the fan I want you on my team. In repect to knowlede of one of my weakness, or strengts. I want you on my team for titlay winks, or combat.

  49. markynorbs says:

    Goal line technology? Let’s try Off side technology! Well done Ingurland. Deserve QF place.

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