Wayne Rooney says that the greatest disappointment of his England career was the time he spent playing for Fabio Capello between 2008 and 2012, hinting at the disillusionment many of the senior players felt under the Italian coach.
Speaking in a new documentary to be broadcast by the BBC on Monday, Rooney said that he expected more under Capello. The Italian took over after Steve McClaren failed to get the team to the European championships in 2008 and then quit four years later over the John Terry captaincy episode, just four months before Euro 2012.
Rooney, interviewed by Gary Lineker for “Wayne Rooney: The Man Behind The Goals” said that the last World Cup in 2014 had been his best, although he admitted he should never have played in 2006. He broke his metatarsal in the April preceding the tournament and Sir Alex Ferguson, his manager at Manchester United, was at loggerheads with Sven Goran Eriksson, then England manager, at the striker going to Germany.
Rooney said: “I go into tournaments and I am always confident. For some reason it hasn’t happened. I don’t know whether I put too much pressure on myself. The last tournament [in Brazil] as disappointing as it was, in terms of my own fitness I felt as good as I have ever felt. It is just a shame as a team we didn’t go further.
“The time I enjoyed playing for England most was under Sven and now Roy Hodgson. The time in between, I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I should. The one I was most excited about was Fabio Capello, with his record when he came in. It was a disappointment. I expected more.”
On 2006, he said: “If I was to go back in time I would probably have sat out the World Cup. It was a big ask to get fit after six weeks out not playing. I was never going to have that match sharpness.”
Speaking in the documentary, Eriksson said that there was never any question of him not taking Rooney. “It became a fight between Ferguson and myself,” he said. “He said, ‘Don’t you take him to the World Cup, Sven. That’s it. You don’t take him’. But there would have been a revolution in England if I don’t take him. They would have thrown me in the sea.”
“Wayne Rooney: The Man Behind The Goals” BBC1, Monday 5 OctoberReuse content