Wayne Rooney: I don't see why England can't win Euro 2012. We have the players
Wayne Rooney banished the air of pessimism which has clouded England's European Championship preparations by declaring as the squad arrived here last night that they can win the tournament.
The question of actually lifting the Henri Delaunay Trophy is one that even manager Roy Hodgson has deflected, suggesting that it was his players who had told him it was a possibility. But though Rooney can only hope that the nation's hopes of progressing to the group stages are still alive when he returns from suspension to face Ukraine on 19 June, he clearly believes, as ever.
"I don't see why we can't win it," Rooney said. "We've certainly got the players and the quality. The new manager coming in has lifted the players and everybody. I think you go into a tournament hoping you can win it. That's the main thing. In the past two tournaments, they've ended in disappointment. Now is the time to put that right."
The 26-year-old revealed he had undertaken 15 to 20 minutes work with a goalkeeping coach after every training session this season, developing his finishing from inside the box. "That's helped me," he said. "Sometimes it's a little bit boring practicing finishing from six yards out, when you think 'I've got to score from here' but it is importance to practice. I've been working on my heading for the past few years and it's paying off."
The realities of a city centre hotel in Krakow were immediately made apparent to the players after their coach struggled to negotiate the last bend before reaching the Hotel Stary in the late afternoon. Hundreds awaited the squad, including a contingent of boisterous Irish fans and the deputy mayor Magdalena Sroka said that the Italian and Dutch squads – whose hotels are in outlying parts of Krakow – had simply got in earlier. "By booking early, the Italians and Dutch secured their first-choice hotels and training bases – unlike England," Ms Sroka said.
The local official said it would be noisier at night for England, whose hotel is adjacent to a sushi bar and near the main square of the city. "During the night, Krakow is a noisy city," Ms Sroka said. "For sure it's not a peaceful and quiet and empty city. This is a city full of energy and full of life." A bugle is played on the hour, every hour, from the nearby St. Mary's Church. "Of course we will play [it] during the whole Euro tournament as well as usual – it's through the night also – it is 24/7," Ms Sroka added.
The local English language newspaper Krakow Post gave a remarkable warning to England fans about the Polish police tactics. "Polish police are going to come down on troublemakers like a bag full of anvils and you don't want to be there when it happens. These lads' mums and and dads rioted under Soviet machine guns – a few chairs thrown by beered up fans is not going to intimidate them."
Latest in Sport
A tight game could be in prospect here. Northampton have been keeping things very tight of late and ...
by Gareth Purnell
18 May 2013 02:01 AM
I can’t ever watch games of football or rugby without wistfully wondering what it must be like to be...
by Martin Ayres
16 May 2013 05:10 PM
Since PSG’s exit to Barcelona in the Uefa Champions League quarter-final in April, PSG have been sur...
by Matthew Riding
15 May 2013 02:37 PM
Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
Is David Beckham one of the Premier League all-time greats? He's not even in the top 1,000 says Chris Waddle
Groundhog day looms for Arsène Wenger as Arsenal battle for a place in the Champions League on final day
Andre Villas-Boas ready to spark Tottenham revolution
One last swipe at Manchester City and then Sir Alex Ferguson was gone...
- 1 Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
- 2 Gove’s lesson: spare the comma, spoil the child
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 Join Ryanair! See the world! But we'll only pay you for nine months a year
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.