Instead of going after Roy Hodgson or the English FA, it looks like Wayne Rooney is the new scapegoat for yet another English failure at a major tournament, this time Euro 2012. It’s easier than talking about tactics or the head. Blaming Rooney, Manchester United and Alex Ferguson is always easy.
And not that there isn’t some blame to be thrown at Ferguson and his club when it’s about the right things. Ignoring truths and facts when promoting his own agenda, his club’s agenda, is something you can suggest. But what does he have to do with Rooney playing badly for the national team?
Fabio Capello suggested that Rooney only plays well for Fergie.Capello probably took a shot at Rooney, he said when Roy Hodgson was appointed about how it helps having the manager finally speaking English. And putting some share on the blame on Rooney is understandable. Easily England’s best player when it comes to league form, Rooney missed two matches and made every wrong decision in the match against Italy. But Rooney isn’t Ronaldo or Messi. It’s a lot about the system around him, and Hodgson’s system wasn’t the best you can find.
The primitive 4-4-2 continues to be England’s bane, as they simply don’t understand that in order to play a 4-4-2 well in the modern game, you need two midfielders who can both retain possession and defend. There was no attempt at creating some ground passing by England against Italy. Long balls for Rooney, Welbeck and Carroll to fend for. Wingers who are busy defending instead of breaking through the flanks and finding good targets with good crosses. Hardly any overlaps with the full backs. The defending was swell, but the desert of ideas on the offensive side has to be an arrow at Hodgson, not Rooney.
Hodgson had no problem throwing Rooney under the bus, saying he didn’t rise to the occasion. Hodgson feels his public stature is better after the tournament than it was before. Many felt that England wouldn’t come out of the group stage, and they managed winning two matches, drawing with France and lose to Italy after penalties. Undefeated, some might say. No good news about the future England, but they made it through, decently enough, through another tournament.