Capello fears Rooney is not mentally right for Swiss match

Fabio Capello will assess Wayne Rooney today before he makes a final decision on whether his leading player, the subject of allegations about his private life, 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 in the News of the World that he paid a prostitute for sex during his wife Coleen's pregnancy. In the Capello camp, there are concerns about Rooney's suitability to play in such an important game. The memory of his poor performances at the World Cup finals is still raw and there is not the certainty that Rooney can simply play through his current 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 Grove hotel in Hertfordshire.

The story is the latest in a series about the private lives of England's leading players which have contributed to the increasing sense of a siege mentality within the squad. Rooney has been the subject of similar allegations before; later admitting that he visited a prostitute in the early stages of his relationship with his now-wife Coleen.

There are considerable worries that the stories could affect Rooney's fragile temperament on the pitch. He played a key role in England's 4-0 win over Bulgaria on Friday night and it goes without saying that Capello needs his best player in the side for tomorrow's Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland.

Rooney played a full part in training yesterday morning at Arsenal's London Colney headquarters but managed to avoid the photographers waiting outside to take his picture. The Football Association said that Rooney would fly with the squad to Basle today. "It's business as usual," an FA spokesman said.

The stories yesterday also included damaging allegations from Jenny Thompson, the woman in question, that Rooney was a smoker. These follow the publication of pictures of him smoking and urinating in public last month after a night out in Manchester. The erosion of Rooney's fortunes since his ankle injury in March against Bayern Munich, which curtailed the best run of form of his career, has been dramatic.

When Rooney spoke to the English press before the friendly against Egypt in March, he said fatherhood had changed him: "When I first joined United I used to go out to nightclubs but it is very rare I would go out to a nightclub now. It changes with age. I made that decision myself. I got into a few things that I shouldn't have and I tried to change that. I am settled at home now. It's good. I am enjoying my life with my family."

He was in a different mood when he last spoke in an official capacity as an England player between the United States and Algeria matches at the World Cup finals. Noticeably more defensive and discomfited by questions then, there will inevitably now be questions about whether his fear of disclosure about his private life affected his performances.

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 latest spot of bother. As a teetotaller who has never found himself at the wrong end of the tabloid newspaper, Milner was a safe bet for 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 scrutiny of footballers' lives was an accepted part of the job. "You have to enjoy your life I suppose but I'm just playing my football and doing as well as I can," 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.

"Whatever game England play – I'm a player, but I'm a fan as well – I want the best possible team out there for England. You want your best players on the field. You saw on Friday night what a player Wayne Rooney is and hopefully he can go out and get a hat-trick [tomorrow]."

Milner was unequivocal about the standards he believes are expected of modern footballers. "Obviously there are a lot of people who watch football games," he said. "Thousands come every week and there are kids with your name on the back of their shirt. They obviously look up to you and love what you do. You try to set standards on and off the field."

The injury picked up by Michael Dawson on Friday night looks like it will sideline the defender for three months. Goalkeeper Scott Carson will attend a funeral on Tuesday and will not fly to Switzerland today. The England under-21 international Scott Loach will take his place.

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?