Former England and Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan has questioned Rooney’s fitness after the England vs Algeria game last night in Cape Town.
Kevin Keegan – is Wayne Rooney fit physically and mentally?
Kevin Keegan, who has been at Newcastle three times, twice as a manager and once as a player, said after England – Algeria game last night:
“Wayne Rooney has been the main reason we have qualified but whether he’s mentally not fit or physically I don’t know – but we’ve got to get him right.”
“At this level you need to be at your best but he’s 10-15% below it. We know it and he knows it and we saw that frustration at the end.”
“The players can’t be seen to be saying ‘I can’t handle this, it’s too much for me’ – they are on the big stage.” “But they’ve still got it in their own hands, even though they’ve been poor in both games.”
And after the game, as Wayne Rooney was walking off the field and obviously totally frustrated, he turned angrily to the camera and said:
“Nice to see your home fans boo you, ” “That’s what loyal support is for f***’s sake.”
That’s an unfortunate comment once again by Wayne, and he will live to regret it.
Wayne is supposed to be one of the top players in the world, and played great for England during qualifying, there’s no doubt about that. But now is the time when world- class players should be delivering in the World Cup finals, which only comes around every four years.
To say Wayne Rooney had a poor game last night is a huge under-statement – he was absolutely hopeless. And don’t give us the fact he’s played too many games last season – Messi played more games than Rooney and he looks good for Argentina.
Unfortunately the big Achilles Heel with some of our English players is their lack of mental strength when playing for England.
Rather than smash the England fans last night, Wayne should first look at his own commitment and performances in our first two games in South Africa – and he’s been utterly ineffective, like most of his England colleagues.
The US players are nowhere near the class of the English, nowhere near, in a country where the sport is at best the 9th most popular sport in America.
But the Yanks came roaring back against Slovenia yesterday after being 2-0 down half time, and should really have won that game 3-2 with their disallowed goal. You didn’t see the US players wilt under the pressure, and have the game be too much for them.
That unfortunately seems to be the problem with our English stars – they are far too scared at the big event – it’s just too much for most of them, and we are sick of them always under-performing on the big stage. They seem different and much better players at club level.
We still only need to beat Slovenia next Wednesday to qualify, but that will not be easy, but the minimum we want to see from this England side in that game is total 100% commitment – after all they are representing their country.