Rooney set to replace Welbeck for England clash with Ukraine

Jun 17, 2012
Bill Mann

Striker 'raring to go' as England seek to avoid same fate as Russia and Poland

ROY HODGSON will almost certainly select Wayne Rooney for England's crucial game against the Ukraine on Tuesday. Rooney has sat out England's first two matches in Group D of Euro 2012 because of a pre-tournament suspension but he's now free to play and the England coach has no fears about starting with him on Tuesday night. "Rooney will be raring to go," said Hodgson. "The quality and desire is there for all to see. He's a quality player. I would suggest he is a world class player."

Asked how Rooney has coped with the frustration of being sidelined for the matches against France and Sweden, Hodgson replied: "He's not been like a caged animal, he's just been like a very, very good professional. His training performances have been first class and he's been first class around the place in terms of encouraging all the players and backing them up."

Nonetheless Hodgson did admit that Rooney, who collected his two-match ban following a reckless kick at Miodrag Dzudovic playing for England against Montenegro last October, is desperate to see some action. "Of course he wants to play football. He's got to get out there and perform, but I have every faith in him that he will."

Following Friday's thrilling 3-2 victory over Sweden, England need just a point against the Ukraine in Donetsk to ensure their qualification to the quarter-finals. Progressing as group winners remains a possibility although that would require Sweden to get a result against France.

To accommodate Rooney in his starting XI, Hodgson may demote Andy Carroll to the bench and partner Rooney with his Manchester United team-mate Danny Welbeck with another United player, Ashley Young, playing just behind the pair.

But Hodgson also hinted in a Saturday press conference that Danny Welbeck could be the one to step aside. The 21-year-old scored the winning goal against Sweden with a deft flick from Theo Walcott's cross, but the England coach warned the nation about getting carried away with Welbeck. "He's done pretty well to break into a team like United and I am happy with the progress he is making," said Hodgson. "But before we start building him up too much, we should remember he has a lot of work to do and a lot of time ahead. Hopefully, with the quality of players we have, I'll be able to use him in the same way Sir Alex has done, a little bit sparingly, from time to time."

Whatever XI Hodgson starts with against the Ukraine he will surely spend the next 48 hours drilling into the squad the danger of complacency. There is a confidence about England following their comeback against Sweden, but there was a confidence about Russia going into their third and final group A match against Greece last night. They needed just a point to qualify for the last eight but crashed to a 1-0 defeat, a result that saw Russia eliminated. The same fate befell Poland, the tournament co-hosts, who lost 1-0 to the Czech Republic. Those results mean that Greece will probably play Germany in the quarter-final.

Given the current political climate between the two countries expect there to be a few studs up tackles in that encounter.

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This is an interesting debate ,whom to start for England against the Ukraine on Tuesday evening in Donestk between Rooney and Danny Welbeck .Fabio Capello's
rating index show Danny Welbeck as the highest rated England player to date in the two games England have played against France and Sweden .Yet another simple straw poll , shows more than 75 % of voters believe Wayne Rooney should start .I think Rooney has scored only 3 times in the qualifying games for the Euro's.
Danny Welbeck clearly has been fantastic to date stepping up to the full English international team ,still being elegible to play for the under 21s .Would Welbeck have played in any of the games to date in the tournament proper other than cameo roles for experience, had Rooney been available ,clearly missing the finals to date .Is a major tournament the time to blood younger players , like Welbeck , or do you go with the tried and tested , although in the case of Rooney previously , can be petulant , but a proven goalscorer as Rooney showed in the Euro's in 2004 ,netting 4.
Its quite a quandary for Roy Hodgson to choose which partnership to opt for , with Carroll , Welbeck and Rooney .I would personally go with Danny Welbeck to reward him for his performances to date , build his confidence , with the aim , you have a truly world class striker for the world cup finals in Brazil in 2014.As Germany opted for a youthful policy in South Africa , which is coming to fruition in Poland and the Ukraine.
Let Danny do the task , if its not going to plan after approx 60 minutes, bring on the heavyweights in the form of Rooney to get if necessary the vital goal to win the match. Quite a pickle for Roy Hodgson , to decide upon, albeit a good one, with just a point required to qualify .Although three points and a few goals for England to win the group , which will make their passage to the semi -finals slightly easier , having only reached the semi -finals twice before in 1996 and 1968 .
Good luck England on Tuesday.

Rooney declares "I'm raring to go".Does this gormless buffoon mean Macdonalds or Burger King ? Yet another rubbish performance from this over paid, over hyped,under performing, lump of fat.