Sport Soccer

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Capello to make call on troubled star

Sam Wallace

Fabio Capello will assess Wayne Rooney today before he makes a final decision on whether his leading player is in the right state of mind to play in the Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland tomorrow.

Rooney will travel with the squad today despite the allegations that he paid a prostitute for sex during his wife Coleen's pregnancy.

However, the memory of his poor performances at the World Cup finals is still raw and it is by no means certain that Rooney can simply play through his difficulties.

Capello and his staff knew on Saturday night that the story was to come out yesterday. It is not clear when Rooney knew that the revelations were about to be published but he was not one of those who met with family yesterday, instead playing golf at the squad's hotel in Hertfordshire.

Rooney took a full part in training yesterday morning but managed to evade the waiting photographers.

Capello will talk today in Switzerland about Rooney's situation for the first time.

Yesterday it was left to James Milner to deal with the difficult questions about Rooney's spot of bother.

As a teetotaller who has never found himself at the wrong end of the tabloids, Milner was a safe bet from the FA, albeit one who would find it hard to empathise with his team-mate's problems.

Milner (24), who admitted that the biggest challenge he faced to his self-control was not playing golf "too close" to a game, said that the scrutiny of footballers' lives was part of the job.

"You have to enjoy your life I suppose but I'm just playing my football," he said. "It would help if your life wasn't scrutinised but that's football; you're in a privileged position to be doing what you're doing so there are highs and lows."

Milner was unequivocal about the standards he believes are expected of modern footballers.

"They (the fans) obviously look up to you and love what you do," he said. "You try to set standards on and off the field." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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