Why Wayne Rooney should be wrapped up in cotton wool

The world awoke this morning to the devastating news that David Beckham is out of the World Cup having suffered an injury to his Achilles tendon.

The prospect of the former England captain not making South Africa is enough to make every man and his dog wallow in self pity. Granted he wouldn’t have played a starting role in England’s campaign but his presence on and off the pitch would have been enough to see him travel to South Africa.

For me he was one of Capello’s guarantees, already with a ticket firmly in his back pocket. I suspect he even had two or three just in case he lost one, that’s how valuable he would have been – who better to come off the bench in the last 10 minutes to salvage the game from under the nose of the Germans?

Instead his injury means the legend that is will fail in his bid to make history, albeit at the expense of a near miracle – no one would put it passed him but for me we’re only kidding ourselves to think he actually has a chance of even being fit for the latter stages.

With the World Cup just months away the news has sent shockwaves rippling across the nation, fans, players and managers alike will be reminded of the devastating effects one single moment can have from now to kick on come June

If there was ever a time to protect our players it’s now and if one player should be wrapped up in cotton wool, it should be Wayne Rooney.

With 30 goals already this season, in the form of his life and arguably England’s best striker, to see him shuddering to halt in the centre circle, in agony as he stumbles around on one leg… to be honest let’s not even go there. One thing’s for sure, if he gets injured we might as well save our money on the plane fare over.

Wayne Rooney has the hopes of a nation on his shoulders, hopes that would be shattered if he gets injured.

We’ve seen it happen before and with injuries rife within the England camp at the moment no one can discard the threat. Would you really put it passed the likes of Ricardo Carvalho not to crunch Rooney and put him out of the World Cup?

He’s currently chasing Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of 42 goals in a season, imagine this. Lets to say last game of the season (Champions League final) Rooney needs one goal to surpass Ronaldo’s almost inconceivable goal tally. As he busts a gut to net that final goal he pulls up with a torn hamstring. These are all an England fans worst nightmare.

All scenarios that do not beg thinking about but I can’t see Sir Alex Ferguson protecting his star striker at the expense of a League and Champions League double.

Beckham’s injury was unavoidable, however recent injuries to the likes of Aaron Ramsey for example were not, this is perhaps a timely reminder to players and managers to remember that the Worlds most iconic tournament is upon, please let Rooney arrive in South Africa injury free.

One thing that the injury to Beckham has done is open the doors to young aspiring talent; it’s opened the door for a new England legend to take centre stage. It could be the kick start to Adam Johnson’s career or even the break James Milner’s been longing for. For the likes of Aaron Lennon and Shaun Wright-Phillips it’s an extra place that could now mean both players travel, while for Theo Walcott, after failing to impress in England’s latest friendly this may have given him a second life line.

Whoever takes his place (that’s to say he already had one) they’ll have big boots to fill but I’m sure they’ll rise to the occasion and if there’s one position where England have strength in depth it’s right midfield.

Meanwhile, for Beckham fans alike we can just sit, hoping, praying, and wishing him a safe return to full fitness; with that small chance he might defy all the odds and still play a part in the World Cup 2010.

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