England to go to a tournament carrying a…

…passenger.

Nothing new then. Spain ’82, Mexico ’86, Italy ’90, Japan ’02, Germany ’06 say hello to Poland and the Ukraine in 2012.

Usually, as above in those listed World Cups and Euro Championships, England head into tournaments carrying injured members of the squad. Normally the important players. Normally it doesn’t work out well. Keggy and Brooking in ’82, Robson’s few minutes before moping off in ’86, Beckham poncing out of a challenge in Japan, contributing heavily to costing us the game against Brazil.

This time it’s a little different as Fabio will pick Rooney knowing that he won’t be available for any of the group stage games due to the three match ban UEFA handed out, it’s a certainty, not like previously where the manager was clinging to to some, misplaced, hope over an injured player.

The fact that they were expecting only a one match suspension shows how dim this lot – Fabio & F.A. are. It was going to be more, my first reaction was that’ll be three games at least, after all it was an unprovoked assault. I mean the F.A. have some cheek, they’d ban him for three games for a straight red in such circumstances, hell they gave him two games for swearing at a TV camera.

Fabio said after he’d figured out that Rooney would be missing for some of the group stage that the player wouldn’t start in any of the friendlies up to the tournament and would just come on as a sub. Well what’s the point of that? He shouldn’t feature at all now. Other players have to be given the chance to play together.

And then if you get them playing well and they then perform in the warm ups and then in the group stage you have to stick with them, whether Rooney is available or not. And quite frankly if they don’t perform, what are the chances that Rooney coming back will have much difference? I mean the win percentage is greater without him and is there anyone really believing that they’ll get past yet another quarter final, Rooney or not?

So no I wouldn’t go with the brains of the game – Alan Shearer, Alan Smith, ‘Arry Redknapp – and take him. There’s little or no point and I’d far prefer to see the likes of Sturridge and Welbeck given the chance. But then of course I’d shift out all those the likes of Shearer – great managerial brain there – would pick – Gerrard, Terry, Ferdinand, Cole – for the likes of Cleverly, Jones, Smalling, Baines etc.

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