No one expected such a hash judgement and you can be sure that the ruling is the beginning of a debate that will not end any time soon. Even often quiet greats like Paul Gascoigne has spoken out on the matter.
Gascoigne came to Rooney’s defense asking with a rather sarcastic tinge what the striker had done. Speaking to talkSPORT, Gascoigne was quick to say that he was not overly worried by Rooney’s sending off.
“I mean, okay, he got sent off, but it won’t be his first time and it’s not going be his last time. It won’t be long before he’s captain. He’ll have to go to the Euros without a shadow of a doubt and I don’t think anyone in the country has a problem with that.”
Of course, this latest ruling gives Capello an even harder time selecting his final 23 man squad for the finals. At Present Rooney is England’s most consistent striker and the thought of him not being available for 3 games is hard to take for the technical bench and fans as well.
However, you cannot blame UEFA for the action they took. Such indiscipline has to be punished thoroughly to warn fellow players of the consequences of unsporting behaviour.
“Capello can’t get inside his head?” Gascoigne continued. “Why do you want to get inside his head? I remember Walter Smith at Rangers, he came in once and he grabbed us by the throat and I said, ‘What’s the matter with you?’ And he said, ‘I’ve been to see a psychiatrist and he said there’s nothing I can do with you but just leave you as you are.’ And it’s true.”
Gascoigne is right to a very big extent, if Rooney has not learnt from all his past mistakes, he is not about to start now. The sad news is that his actions will far outlive his playing ability and most people will remember him for them rather than for his playing ability.
Photo credit © Rangers Historical Archive