Thursday 23 November 2017

Capello considers leaving suspended Rooney behind

Sam Wallace

Fabio Capello is now weighing up whether he will include Wayne Rooney in his squad for the European Championships next summer after the English FA was hit with the calamitous news that their best player will be banned from all three group games.

The England manager and his camp were of the mind to wait until they see Uefa's official reasons for coming to their judgment on giving Rooney a three-match ban for kicking out at Montenegro's Miodrag Dzudovic before they decide whether to appeal.

In a brief statement yesterday, Uefa described Rooney's actions on Friday that led to his red card as an "assault". In the aftermath of the decision from Uefa, the original position in the Capello camp that leaving Rooney behind was not even a consideration has now shifted.

Capello has more than seven months and three friendlies before he names his provisional squad for Euro 2012, but it is understood that, for the first time since Friday's red card, leaving out Rooney is an option.

Chief among Capello's concerns will be that if Manchester United do not make it to the Champions League or FA Cup final then Rooney could well go from his club's last Premier League game, against Sunderland on 13 May, to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 which begin on June 21, without potentially starting a game.

The two friendlies before the tournament starts will be crucial for Capello to try out different formations.

Over the last year, Capello has frozen out Peter Crouch, the only striker with a comparable goalscoring record to Rooney. Andy Carroll has failed to live up to early expectations; Darren Bent has scored four in the last five internationals and looks the most likely to be asked to step up. The three-match ban was far more severe than the FA had anticipated and England could be out of the tournament before Rooney has even played. Having originally planned to appeal if the ban was more than the minimum one game, the FA is now reconsidering that strategy.

The governing body was last night investigating the possibility that the player could be punished with an even longer ban if Uefa reject the appeal. The FA expects to receive Uefa's "written reasons" for the judgment, carried out by Uefa's control and disciplinary body, within the next two days.

Once they have receipt of those they have three days to decide whether to lodge an appeal. (© Independent, News Service)

Irish Independent

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