Eriksson: English game is still killing Rooney

 

Sven Goran Eriksson has said that English football is still "killing" Wayne Rooney more than it should and that his potential to win any game for the national side should make him the first name on the squad sheet for next summer's European Championships.

Eriksson, The Independent's new football columnist, told the English nation "don't kill Rooney" after the player's dismissal at Gelsenkirchen in the 2006 World Cup quarter-final against Portugal, and he declared after Rooney's three-game suspension for next summer's finals that the 25-year-old is still being subjected to more criticism than he would in continental Europe. "Criticise him for one or two days and then it's over," Eriksson said. "During the first days [the reaction] is the same in England as it would be in Italy, Portugal, Sweden. But here it has a habit of going on forever."

The Football Association is leaning towards an appeal to Uefa over the three-game ban but the Leicester City manager, who also declared in his valedictory press conference at Gelsenkirchen, that Rooney would "win a World Cup one day", insisted that his capacity to score in next summer's final in Kiev's Olympic Stadium made his selection essential, regardless of his absence earlier in the tournament.

"I don't know how [Fabio] Capello is thinking. I guess he is frustrated because it is obvious that Rooney is the best striker we have in England," said Eriksson, whose first column will be published on Wednesday. "I can guess that Wayne Rooney is disappointed as well. But I would take him to the finals – of course. England will go further than the group stage. You have the quarters straight away – you have a very fresh player for the quarter-finals. That's my idea. Rooney, we know, is a match-winner. That's why you have to take a gamble."

Eriksson did that with David Beckham, who broke a metatarsal before the 2002 World Cup and with Michael Owen, who did the same six months before the 2006 tournament. And he would take that gamble again. "I know some people thought that was wrong but if you think about Rooney, Beckham, Owen at that time – you had to take them because they can win a match for you."

Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Life and Style
Men with beards rejoice: Your beard probably doesn't harbour faeces-like bacteria
health
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before