Thursday, December 8, 2011

Boost for England as Rooney ban reduced

England’s chances at Euro 2012 have been given a boost after UEFA decided to suspended the third game of the striker’s three match ban following his sending off against Montenegro in October.

It now means that the England striker can play in his country’s final group stage game against Ukraine, though he will definitely miss the first two games against France and Sweden.

England’s reliance on the Manchester United striker was shown in the soccer betting, which took a swing in their favour upon the news of his one game repressive.

In sharp cost to a generation ago, when the Three Lions were blessed with the likes of Alan Shearer, Teddy Sheringham, Ian Wright, Les Ferdinand, Andy Cole and Robbie Fowler, the current crop have a distinct lack of world class goal scoring talent among them.

Darren Bent has made great strides at this level in recent months, and he looks likely to lead the line in England’s opening two group matches - barring injury.

But he is a completely different player to Rooney, with Bent much more the predatory striker in the box with Rooney ale to drop deeper and dictate play. That said if you want to bet on the Premiership top scorer, Rooney is never far away from your thoughts.

Fabio Capello and the FA knew this, so pulled out all the stops in their attempts to get the ban educed, including whipping Rooney across from Basel less than 12 hours after Man United’s Champions League defeat to attend the hearing in person. It worked.

Adrian Bevington, the Football Association director of communications and Club England managing director, said: "We've had a very fair hearing.

"Wayne and Fabio are both very pleased. Wayne will head back to Manchester as a matter of priority.

"Wayne has always made clear that he accepted it was a red card offence.

"We arrived with the possibility of him missing the entire group phase - it would have been a huge challenge for Fabio and the team, so to have him available for the final group match against Ukraine is clearly very positive."

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