Capello salutes Rooney in Swiss stroll

Simon Stone

Fabio Capello believes he has found the ideal position for Wayne Rooney.

After three days of unwanted headlines, Rooney got some for the right reasons after ending a 12-month wait for an England goal to set the Three Lions on their way to an impressive 3-1 win over Switzerland in Basle.

Rooney's contribution followed on from his impressive effort in the demolition of Bulgaria at Wembley on Friday -- though that came before his personal life became the subject of potentially damaging allegations.

Both displays justified Capello's decision to let Rooney occupy a deep-lying position just in front of England's two central midfielders, a role he feels the 24-year-old is perfectly suited to.

"Wayne Rooney played very well," said Capello. "(Mentally) he was okay and scoring the goal helped too. This position is good for him. It is easy for him to get into positions to shoot."

Rooney's effort showed yet again that top players have an extraordinary capacity not to be affected by whatever turbulence they may be enduring elsewhere.

"I had seen he had been okay in training, now he plays an official game really well," said Capello.


"The players want to play without other things on their minds. They can focus on the game alone. He did that today.

"At the end, he was really happy."

The only two disappointments for England were the booking for James Milner that rules him out of next month's encounter with Montenegro, the other team with a 100pc record so far, and that they were not out of sight by half-time.

Indeed, it look the dismissal of Stephan Lichtsteiner to give England the extra edge.

Adam Johnson gave England some breathing space with his second goal in four games, although even that advantage did not last long as Xherdan Shaqiri scored with a thunderbolt drive.

Darren Bent sealed victory with his first international goal two minutes from time to ensure England top Group G.

More good news was delivered regarding Theo Walcott.

The Arsenal winger was carried off injured moments after Rooney's opener but has been diagnosed with nothing more than a sprained ankle.

"Switzerland, on paper, were the most difficult opponents in our group so to win here is really important," said Capello.

"But the result wasn't everything. It was also about the performance of the team."