Following Wayne Rooney’s red card in England’s draw against Montenegro last week, boss Fabio Capello has said that the centre-forward may not make it into the starting 11 for the Euro 2012 tournament.
Rooney was sent off the pitch after lashing out at Miodrag Dzudovic 17 minutes before the final whistle. England had a comfortable 2 goal lead, before sloppy defending resulted in them conceding 2 goals for a 2-2 draw. With Capello constantly making changes in order to revitalise the floundering national squad, it seems that now not even Rooney is a safe bet to make it into the starting squad.
The Manchester United striker is likely to face a one-match ban as punishment for his sending off, but Capello has stated that he will not feature him in the starting line-up for any of the warm-up matches prior to the tournament, including their friendly against Spain next month at Wembley.
"I need to find the solution for the first game, or two games, that Rooney will not play," said the Italian, "And if we find that solution, he needs to work to return to the first 11.
"You know me. Sometimes I make mistakes but I try to select the best players, in the best moment of form. There were two I did not select for this game who are doing really well.
"I saw the game that Jermain Defoe played against Arsenal. He did really well. He ran a lot and pressed a lot. Daniel Sturridge is the same.
"I could leave Rooney out. If the others are good they will play. In my life as a manager I have put on the bench a lot of good players."
This shock statement comes after Capello also made the decision to not take veteran England defender Rio Ferdinand with him to the qualifier, sparking debate as to whether or not Ferdinand will make it into the squad at all for the tournament next summer. Many have also called for the retirement of Captain John Terry, following his underwhelming performance as the anchor of the defence against Montenegro.
"Rooney will not play against Spain,” continued Capello “I want to test new players, a new style and different movement."
"Sometimes he will come on at half-time. But not from the start. We need to prepare the first 11 who will start in the Euros.
"I have got a lot of forwards at this moment, really good forwards, and I need to find the best solution."
"I select the player, not the name.”
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