Is Rooney’s injury really the end of England’s World Cup aspirations?

As Manchester United supporters and every England football fan wait for further news regarding Wayne Rooney’s scan on his ankle injury, could England’s 2010 World Cup chances be over before the tournament has even started? A couple of weeks ago David Beckham was ruled out of the tournament, and whilst he is a loss to the England squad they can easily manage without him, but surely the same cannot said if Rooney can’t travel to South Africa?

Everyone who has watched the Premier League this season will agree that Rooney has been in unbelievable form and has been scoring goals for fun week in week out, adding great heading ability to his excellent all round game. Arguably only Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has been in better form in the past 12 months and Rooney has firmly established himself as a world class player and amongst the top 3 players in the world. His loss would be almost unthinkable and Fabio Capello alongside millions of England fans are crossing their fingers, toes and everything else right now, but will he make it?

If he doesn’t then England will be in big trouble, as they will be severely short of high quality forwards. Rooney is England’s one world class striker, and his goals and all-round play bring a lot to the team. He is largely irreplaceable, and players such as Emile Heskey, Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe are just not of a high enough calibre to fire England to World Cup victory. Yes one of the former two could form a decent partnership with Rooney, but its asking far too much of them and their ability to score the goals without him.

An England squad without Wayne Rooney is obviously a much weaker squad than one with him, but there are still enough quality players such as Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, etc, to help England go a long way in the tournament. It also gives other players the chance to stand up and make a name for themselves on the biggest stage in the world. However, a serious injury to Rooney would realistically end any small chance that England had of winning the tournament, as an England without Rooney is just not good enough to compete with Spain and Brazil and the other 2010 World Cup favourites.

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