Fabio Capello issues hint over Wayne Rooney Euro 2012 fate

 

England coach Fabio Capello has dropped a clear hint that Wayne Rooney will be going to next summer's European Championship.

Capello has not spoken about Rooney since the Manchester United striker was handed a three-match ban by UEFA for his red card in Montenegro earlier this month.

Although it is still to be decided whether the Football Association will launch an appeal against the suspension, as it presently stands, Rooney will be ruled out of the entire group stage of the competition in Poland and Ukraine.

The widespread view amongst professionals is that Rooney should go, even though, as Sir Alex Ferguson pointedly remarked on Monday, England may not even qualify for the knockout stages, which would render the 25-year-old a non-playing member of Capello's squad.

But, speaking at a Club Wembley breakfast hosted at Wembley yesterday, Capello indicated Rooney would be part of his plans as part of an observation about the balance of younger players and older ones in his squad.

"The young players are really good and ready to play with the seniors, and the experience of the seniors is really important," said Capello.

"During the games we need some leaders, people that know something.

"Jack Wilshere is incredible because he is so young. We also need the experience of John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and Scott Parker.

"You need this kind of player, plus Rooney, I hope."

Ferdinand might also be pleased to receive a name check after he was left out of the squad for the final Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro.

But Rooney, more than any other player, has the ability to lift England onto the next level and hit the goal trail last night with two penalties in United's Champions League defeat of Otelul Galati, which took his tally for the season onto 11.

Phil Jones and Chris Smalling were two of Rooney's team-mates last night, part of a group of English youngsters who have emerged over the past few months to give fresh hope for the future.

Capello does not want to pile too much expectation on their shoulders just yet.

However, he does believe the overall balance of his squad is far better than when he took charge almost four years ago.

"I am happy with my players," he said. "I have a lot of confidence in them.

"There are not many young players in the world who are better than the English ones.

"But you need to wait until the end of the season to understand if they are at the top and ready to play with the seniors.

"We had a gap between the oldest and the young. Now, with people like Wilshere, Jones, (Danny) Welbeck, (Daniel) Sturridge - it's really interesting.

"It will be a really good team for the next Euros."

However, the key to England's chances of success will be in the preparation.

Prior to the World Cup in South Africa, Capello took his players to a training camp in Austria for 10 days.

England then had another 10-day period together in South Africa before their opening game.

Capello's instinct is to halve that time next summer, when it has been suggested England will be based in a city centre hotel in Krakow, rather than a remote location like their Rustenburg HQ last year.

"The players arrived at the World Cup really tired," said Capello.

"In the friendly games before we went to South Africa, we won but did not play well, like the games we played to qualify.

"The players were not so fast, not so good. We need to change something at the end of the season to prepare for the Euros.

"I will stay with the players 10 days before the Euros start."

There is a three-week gap between the Champions League final in Munich on May 19 and the opening game of the European Championship on June 8, almost four from the final game of the Premier League season on May 13.

And it is that time Capello views as the most important given what he expects the bulk of his squad to be going through over the next few months.

"It's really important the players relax after the season because the season here in England is really strong," he said.

"This year will be stronger than last because there will be a competition between five or six teams to qualify for the Champions League.

"Also, I hope some teams all play in the Champions League final and the other UEFA competition.

"But if we arrive fresh and fit we will be competitive."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable