England coach Fabio Capello insisted that Wayne Rooney’s “silly mistake” that earned him a second half red card in their draw with Montenegro in Podgorica wouldn’t cause any problems for his Euro 2012 plans after they limped over the qualification finishing line last night.
Rooney had immediately apologised to Capello following the game but the fact remains that the Manchester United striker will now miss at least the opening game in Euro 2012 after his reckless challenge on Miodrag Dzudovic.
Rooney had earlier been named in the side following news of his father’s arrest during an investigation into betting irregularities after Capello had insisted that Rooney was “calm and relaxed” and ready to play.
The red card, however, came at a time when the game was drifting away from England in the second half as their performance dipped and an all-too-familar sight of Rooney seeking more of the ball raised the spectre of his temperament when things aren’t going well.
Capello said: “He’s a really important player with a lot of experience and has played well in these games but sometimes really important players make mistakes. You can’t understand why but they make mistakes.”
A friendly has been set up with Spain and the Italian will now use that match and other friendlies to try and find a way of playing without Rooney in the side.
Goals by Ashley Young and Darren Bent had earlier put England 2-0 up but complacency meant errors crept in and allowed the plucky home side to pull one back through Elsad Zverotic just before half time and Rooney was sent off by German referee Wolfgang Stark 17 minutes from the end but England couldn’t hold on and Andrija Delibasic headed in an equaliser in injury time.