Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Rooney Ban a Blow for England - Hodgson

Former Gravesend defender, and current manager of West Bromwich Albion, Roy Hodgson, believes that England could struggle to score goals at Euro 2012 in the absence of Manchester United striker, Wayne Rooney.

Rooney, 26, is suspended for the first two group matches of the upcoming European Championship, which begins on June 8 in Poland and the Ukraine, after picking up a red card in England's encounter with Montenegro, in October. The Euro 2012 betting indicates they could struggle without him.

"Rooney is a world-class player", Hodgson said, adding that England fans had deluded themselves into thinking that his absence will not affect the country's chances of success at Euro 2012.

"I think you will find that the end of those two matches a lot of people are going to be talking about the fact Wayne Rooney was suspended, and had he been able to play it would have helped England's chances."

The England side for 2012 is likely to be notable for the absence of a number of 'big name' forwards that featured in the most recent World Cup, such as Emile Heskey, Peter Crouch, and perhaps even Joe Cole.

Rooney's ban means that the Three Lions will need to call upon the likes of Frazier Campbell, Darren Bent, Daniel Sturridge, or Rooney's teammate in Manchester, Danny Welbeck, to nab the points against France and Sweden.

United's talisman, Rooney, has been in fine form for the Red Devils recently, scoring 26 goals so far this season. Alex Ferguson has reportedly challenged Rooney to score 40 before the end of the current campaign and the football betting odds show he will certainly have a big part to play in the title race.

Rooney added two for United at the weekend, during Manchester's defeat of Hodgson's West Brom team. The result enabled the Reds to climb to the top of the Premier League. "Wayne is on a hot streak", Fergie said, in the wake of the match.