One of the reasons for England’s consistent failures on the major international stage is because of troubles surrounding Wayne Rooney and his unnecessary sending off against Montenegro is an early indication that Euro 2012 will be no different.
England’s hopes of victory at Euro 2012 are largely expected to hinge on the performances of the Manchester United striker, but there are now doubts that Rooney will even make an appearance in Ukraine and Poland.
Rooney’s sending off for violent conduct in England’s final qualifier in Montenegro means that he is guaranteed to miss at least the first game of Euro 2012.
However, there is the possibility that when the tape is reviewed he could miss further games, with similar incidents often resulting in three-game bans in the Premier League.
If Rooney was to be given the same punishment he would miss the whole of the group stages of Euro 2012, by which time England could be out.
This opens up an entirely new debate that Rooney may not even be selected in England’s final squad for Euro 2012, as he would take up a valuable squad spot despite potentially not even being capable of making an appearance.
It is not the first time that Rooney may let down the nation at a major finals, particularly after he was sent off against Portugal in a losing quarter final at the 2006 World Cup and was a virtual passenger at the World Cup last summer.
Although not his fault, a Rooney injury during Euro 2004 also effectively ended England’s chances of tournament victory.
England are still 8/1 in the Euro 2012 odds to win the tournament, but Rooney’s problems could still prove to be a positive.
Darren Bent has been on fire in front of goal for England, Ashley Young is much improved in the last six months and Jack Wilshere is emerging as a serious player.
Therefore, England may now be in a better position to cope without Rooney than in previous years, while he would also be well rested for the knockout stages of Euro 2012, meaning he will be fresh when opposing defences may be on the verge of some tiredness.