With the judgment of Wayne Rooney’s punishment being handed down as a 3 match ban there has been some reaction that he should be left off of England’s Euro 2012 roster. Unless England is successful in an appeal (which may only reduce the punishment by one game), Rooney will miss the entire group stage. Manager Fabio Capello has already spoken about Rooney playing only a limited role in upcoming friendlies in order to find a working roster for the games he is not available, but should he be left off completely?
The simple answer here is a definite NO.
Rooney is England’s premier attacking option and if the goal for the Three Lions is to win the tournament having him as an option even off of the bench would seem paramount. Pundits may say something about him not being available to help them through the group stage, but the group stage will most likely be the weakest teams that they will face. Imagine going up against a team like Germany or Spain without the nation’s best and possibly only world class forward.
If England is able to find a functioning line-up with some of their dangerous up and coming players that is even better for England. If it turns out that the team is playing so well that Rooney can’t break the line-up, then Capello can stick with that line-up. And, if that squad falters then you have the Manchester United starlet coming into the game bringing both his desire to prove himself and his already noted attributes.
Had Rooney avoided this whole mess there wouldn’t be an issue here, but this could turn out to be somewhat of a blessing for England, although likely a nightmare for Capello.
With rumors of Capello heading out after the Euro, it seems silly that he would try to prove a point to Rooney and leave him home. His biggest concern would be winning and taking the best available talent will be the only thing on his mind.
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