Fabio Capello insisted last night that Wayne Rooney was "calm" and "relaxed" ahead of tonight's critical Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro, despite the arrest of his father on suspicion of illegal betting.
Capello is understood to consider the arrest of 48-year-old Wayne Rooney Snr to be unwelcome but, at one remove from the striker, far less debilitating than the personal problems which so damaged the player and squad at the World Cup last summer. "Yes, he's OK. He's OK. No problems. Absolutely no problem," Capello said, five minutes after a discussion with the 25-year-old about the arrest, news of which reached the England squad after they landed here. "He's calm, relaxed. I think, in a really short time, everything will be ... we'll find a solution."
Capello now admits that Rooney's marital problems caused the loss of form in South Africa and it was on the eve of England's Euro 2012 qualifier in Switzerland in September last year that allegations of Rooney's assignation with a prostitute were revealed. Capello selected him in Basle and he scored after 10 minutes. His position tonight is under no doubt. "Yes. I think he's in a good moment of form and there will be no problem for the game," Capello said. "He's told me he's good. No problems. In the last three days he's trained two days really, really well."
Capello hinted that he is ready to stick with Gary Cahill and John Terry in central defence with Phil Jones now a strong contender for the right-back position. Terry, who appeared for Chelsea immediately after his mother was arrested for shoplifting in 2009, said tonight's Group G game would give Rooney the distraction he needed after the arrest of his father, his uncle Richie and seven other people. The arrests follow allegations of a football betting scam relating to a match between Motherwell and Hearts last December.
"I know the manager's spoken to him and he's totally fine," Terry said. "Wayne's one of the best players in the world and he'll deal with it and go out and perform like he always does on the pitch. He's fine and focused on the game. We all know Wayne, the type of character he is. He'll certainly be OK."
Wayne Sr arrested, page 7