Belfast Telegraph

Biting Back: Off-form Rooney still needed by England

By John Laverty

It’s well known that football people have short memories. Spot the difference here:

1. “Now that Rooney is back and scoring goals, there’s genuine reason to believe England can go on and win Euro 2012...”

2. “Rooney has proved yet again that he can’t do it at this level, and England should plan the future without him...”

And on it goes. Before the Italy match, England fans couldn’t do without Roo, now they can’t wait to get shot of him.

Well, they say you’re only as good as your last game, and old Spud Face certainly had a stinker in Kiev.

On that basis, however, Argentina should prepare for the next World Cup without a certain Lionel Messi, who had a real mare in his last outing at that tournament.

England were eliminated because they weren’t good enough collectively, never mind individually.

And, unfortunately for them, the one individual capable of turning a game their way was ring-rusty and off-form when it really mattered.

But to throw in yet another so-called football truism, form is temporary, class is permanent.

If England manager Roy Hodgson doesn’t adhere to that, he’ll soon find out just how short football fans’ memories really are.

Belfast Telegraph