With the questionable form of Steven Gerrard this season it looks like England’s only gem is Wayne Rooney. Medical staff have confirmed that Rooney will need extensive work in order to strengthen his ligament, leading us to think that an ‘accidental’ stamp by one of England’s World Cup opponents will put him out of the tournament.
I think in that case Fabio should leave Rooney on the bench for the first three group stage games so he is fresh and fit to take on whoever England face in the knockout stages. No disrespect to any of the teams England will face and I am well aware that teams can raise their game in a World Cup, meaning no easy games. However Rooney or no Rooney, England should qualify from that group.
I know you can talk about getting a rhythm together and all that jazz, however all of these players will have played around fifty games this season. So selecting young pacey players and resting our stars could play a key part in England’s success in this tournament. That is why players like Agbonlahor or Walcott have to go for me as impact subs, instead of the normal like for like replacements.
I have no doubts that Ferguson will not be thinking of England, when he next selects Rooney. He will want the player to save his teams’ season from going down the pan. He will not be rushed back early enough to harm him but I believe he will play when he could arguably wait a few games more. It looks likely that Rooney could miss all the key fixtures even the Semi Finals should United make them, on the 21st and 28th of April. He may only be left with games against Sunderland and Stoke of which everyone expects both teams to be safe, so the competitive edge from the opposition may just not be there. Reports suggest he will return within two or three weeks so I think it is better for England that he perhaps gets the chance to play in at least one of the Semi Finals and his body specifically his ankle, need to be tested in the biggest of games should United get there.
It seems in recent season all teams suffer from moderate sized injury lists with players like Rio Ferdinand, Michael Essien, Fernando Torres and Robin Van Persie regularly spending time on the sidelines to name a few. It looks like we ask too much of all our players, let us look at England’s key men.
Frank Lampard has already played fifty times this season, John Terry 55, Gerrard 42, and these lads are all reaching thirty.
It could just be a survival of the fitness….
Written by Darren Wells-Burr