Roy Hodgson must beware of Wayne Rooney boredom at Euro 2012, warns Roy Keane

Former United team-mate believes England striker must be handled with care during tournament

By all accounts Wayne Rooney does not seem to have had too much trouble amusing himself on holiday in Las Vegas, but when it comes to being cooped up a hotel on international duty ennui can quickly set in. And that, said Rooney's former Manchester United team-mate Roy Keane, could be a problem this summer.

"I think Wayne will have a big problem with the boredom, mentally trying to build up for a game," said Keane. "English and Irish players are the same, I don't think we are good at hanging around hotels and training camps in the middle of nowhere. As you get older you might be married and have kids, you might appreciate the peace and quiet, but Wayne is still young, he's pretty active, mentally.

"It doesn't suit England being stuck in hotels. That was a problem at the last World Cup. I think they need breathing space. There is a lot of media intrusion with England, but you have to give players a little bit of freedom. Of course you have to careful, you can't be giving the lads licence to do what they want, then you are back to Gazza and the dentist chair [pre-Euro 1996, in Hong Kong].

"The last World Cup they were holed up somewhere [the Austrian Alps] for two or three weeks beforehand and the players were pissed off with that. That's where Roy Hodgson has come in and said: 'What do we need to make us a better team, and what can we knock on the head?' Cancelling the trip to Spain [originally planned for this week] was good management. Players don't need training camps at this time of year."

As he is suspended from England's opening two matches at Euro 2012, Rooney is not expected to play in the warm-ups. This would mean he will go more than five weeks without a game since playing for Manchester United at Sunderland on the closing day of the Premier League.

"Roy Hodgson will have get the balance right with what Wayne does on the training pitch, he has to keep him sharp, but without overdoing it or getting irritated that he's not playing," said Keane.

"There are plusses, he'll be fresh, and he'll give England something a bit different when he comes back, but it is not as if Wayne can feel his way into the tournament, it's, 'You have to produce today.' As good a player as he is, that is difficult."

Hodgson took his first England training session yesterday and Keane pleaded for him to be given a chance, without holding out much hope of success this summer.

"I would expect them to get out of the group, I just don't expect them to win it, whoever the manager might be," said Keane. "I would have been saying that if [Fabio] Capello [who resigned as manager in February] in was still there.

"Every tournament there seems to be something going on with England. In 2006 it was the Wags, they were staying next door and they were getting photographed. At the last World Cup you had David Beckham on the bench. I thought that was ridiculous. Gary [Neville] is actually part of the staff, Becks was still a player.

"Paul Scholes retired a good few years ago. I think Paul was fed up with the kind of circus that was behind England, certain players trying to call the shots. I know he used to be pissed off because there was stuff going on a lot of which had nothing to do with football.

"There are a lot of distractions with England, but it is not just the English. A lot of Dutch lads wouldn't even speak to each other. You saw the French at the World Cup, going on strike. England, like a lot of countries, find it hard to get that unity and spirit together.

"Sometimes they are only together for three days before an international match and there are a lot of rivalries, particularly with [players] being at different clubs.

"I've no problem with lads not being pals. Even at club level you can have situations where lads don't get on together. United, for all the brilliant spirit, Teddy [Sheringham] didn't get on with Coley [Andy Cole]. I wasn't big pals with Peter Schmeichel, but when we trained and when we got out on that pitch we backed each other up. That's what England have to get.

"Don't kid yourself that when England get together they will all be laughing and joking. The United lads will probably sit with United lads. That's human nature. What Roy has got to do, no matter what is going on in and around that hotel, is create that spirit when the game starts, when you need it. There are other lads who have great team spirit and, when they get out on the pitch, they do nothing about it."

Welbeck and Johnson sit out first session

Danny Welbeck and Glen Johnson were the only two players among the 18 members of Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad who have reported for duty to miss the new manager's first training session yesterday.

The Football Association described their omission as a "precaution", while the rest of the squad that has joined up so far trained at the Etihad Stadium. That meant that the news so far on Scott Parker's Achilles injury would appear to be good.

The four-strong Chelsea contingent of John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill as well as Wayne Rooney have been given an extra week off.

Sam Wallace

Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
Clarke Carlisle
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
David Hasselhof in Peter Pan
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'