Fergie blames Rooney expectation


Sir Alex Ferguson has blamed the weight of expectation for Wayne Rooney's disappointing World Cup form.

The Manchester United boss claims too much was expected of his 24-year-old striker in South Africa after he struggled to live up to pre-tournament expectations.

Rooney had scored 34 goals for the Red Devils during the domestic season but drew a blank in four games as a heavily-criticised England exited the tournament at the last 16 stage following a 4-1 mauling at the hands of Germany.

"I think there was such expectation on him. There was talk he was going to be the player of the tournament," explained Ferguson.

"Don't forget, that was the prelude to the whole thing – he was going to be the star, he was going to outshine them all – (Lionel) Messi, (Cristiano) Ronaldo. So that level of expectation comes into it.

"And he's not got great experience of (playing in) the World Cup really.

"You wait, in four years' time you'll see a different player."

Meanwhile, the veteran Scot is struggling to put his finger on why England under-performed so badly in South Africa.

"That is going to be one of the imponderables – what has really happened and why are they not getting better form. I watched their games and I was baffled by what I saw," he added.

"Expectation was a big thing. They qualified from a group which you'd have to say was a million to one they wouldn't qualify from. So it was an easy passage into the finals.

"Maybe it would have been better if England had been in a tougher (qualifying) group. They'd have earned the right to be one of the favourites and it would have helped that they'd played good teams before they got there."

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