Another Rooney performance, and more criticism of the Scouser’s fiery temperament.
Reviewing the evidence it is hard to argue against those who are critical of Rooney’s recklessly behaviour, after the Manchester United striker was fortunate not to see red for an over-zealous tackle on Oleksandr Aliev during the second half of the England-Ukraine match on Wednesday night.
Rooney, having lost possession in the opponents half and desperate to retrieve the ball, appeared to once again lose his head as the England number 10 threw himself into a challenge with Aliev for the loose ball. Without question Rooney got a large chunk of the ball but, unfortunately for Aliev, he was also mowed down by the Red Devil leaving the Ukrainian forward writhing around on the floor in agony.
As many have pointed out, Rooney can count himself lucky that the referee on call at Wembley allowed the incident to slide. It was not the time, nor the place for a reckless lunge at an opponent. The laws of the game are today designed to protect footballers from such potentially bone-crunching tackles, and footballers know that they cannot be so reckless anymore without expecting to be punished.
Simply making contact with the ball does not mean that a tackle is not dangerous. It was, and Rooney would usually have been sent off for his behaviour.
The fear is of course that, having seen Rooney repeatedly commit the same fouls, at some stage down the line it is inevitable that Wayne’s temper will sabotage England’s success. Lest we forget World Cup 2006.
Rooney’s dirty tackle on Oleksandr Aliev can be seen here.