Wayne Rooney will continue his bid to find form when he lines up for England against Montenegro Tuesday. In normal circumstances I have no doubt that Rooney would have pulled out of Fabio Capello’s squad for the game at Wembley, after missing the last few United games through injury, But with Sir Alex Ferguson desperate for his star striker to return to his best, Rooney has been encouraged to play himself in to form with his country.
Rooney’s fall from grace has been dramatic. Earlier on in the year Rooney was in the form of his life. He was scoring goals for fun and looked like he could be the man to inspire England to glory at the World Cup.
But ever since Rooney picked up an injury during United’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich he has struggled for form and fitness. During his disappointing World Cup, Rooney looked to be still hampered by his ankle injury, with his fearless energy desperately missing.
Rooney himself refused to blame his injury although he does admit his generally fitness wasn’t up to standard. He admits a winter break in the English game would have be of great benefit in future. He said: “A winter break would not only help the England team but the Premier League as well.
“Towards the end of the season the intensity in some of the games which is normally there is missing. It’s a long season with the intensity that the games are played at. It is only fair on the players that there is a break. It’s great, especially as a forward when the game is end to end and the game opens up. But it’s only in England where you see that game that quick.”
Rooney is quite right to suggest a winter break would benefit the English game and subsequent chance of success for the England side. Nearly all the other leagues in Europe have at least some form of a mid season break, and England are defiantly at a disadvantage as a result.
The unfortunate fact however is that a winter break would be very difficult to work in the English game. Unlike most European leagues, we have two cup competitions. This coupled with the need for the Boxing Day, New Years Day, and early January FA Cup football means that the winter break would be difficult to schedule.
So Rooney shouldn’t expect to get his wish in the near future, and for the time been should concentrate on playing his way in to form for club and country. Given time and games I have no doubt that he will be able to overcome a disappointing few months both on and off the field.
The old saying goes that form is temporary and class is permanent. Rooney has shown his class to us all time and time again, and while this is a bad spell for him at the moment, he is guaranteed to show his class to us again.