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Rock the Crossbar

Tuesday, July 4

Sent off for stamping - Hang the Swede

I have to agree 100% with Wayne Rooney. Rooney states he did not intentionally step on Carvalho but was the natural result of Carvalho sliding in under him and if anything a free kick should have been given for fouls commited against Rooney. The Argie ref, however, called it a "clear red" and also insisted that no Portuguese players had dived during the match The Argie makes a few more outrageous commments before adding: 'In general I am very satisfied with the spirit of fair play in the match. Sven Goran Eriksson went to the locker room after the match and congratulated me for an excellent performance and said I was right to send off Rooney because it was rough play.'


  • Well, Sven can say anything he wants as long as he is on a one-way flight back to Sweden. What a panty-waste.

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 11:25 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Chris P, at 4:06 PM  

  • Dry yer eyes lads. This gets a bit boring when it happens every two years.

    England's latest blame game missing the point

    TWENTY years on from Diego Maradona's infamous 'Hand of God,' England have found another easy scapegoat to blame for their departure from a World Cup tournament.

    Cristiano Ronaldo's protests to referee Horatio Elizondo about Wayne Rooney's retaliation on Ricardo Carvalho during last Saturday's quarter-final in Gelsenkirchen have been deemed to be unacceptable by the English players, media and supporters. They claim that the 21-year-old's intervention persuaded the Argentinian official to show Rooney the red card.

    Never mind that the referee had been ideally positioned to see Rooney drive his studs into pain.

    Never mind that England manager Sven Goran Eriksson spoke to Elizondo at the end and walked away totally satisfied by the explanation he was given for the sending off.

    Never mind that Ronaldo emphatically denied asking for a red card and claimed that he was only protesting at Rooney's ill-judged decision to test his newly mended metatarsal on Carvalho's tackle.

    It doesn't help Ronaldo's defence that he is a player who undermines his sublime skills with histrionics and has a fuse that, at times, can be just as short as Rooney's. But, on this occasion, it seems from here as though he has got a raw deal and will become a persona non grata when the Premiership resumes next month - assuming that he is still at Manchester United.

    The apoplectic reaction emanating from England is something we should be well used to by now because, if there is an easy scapegoat for their failings and inadequacies, they are brilliant at finding them.

    Remember Euro 2004 when England also departed at the hands of Portugal in another penalty shoot-out? The culprit then was Swiss referee Urs Meier, who was lambasted for his decision to disallow a last minute Sol Campbell goal that probably would have won the game for England had it been allowed to stand.

    The fact that UEFA's referees committee subsequently acknowledged that the referee made the correct decision, as John Terry had impeded Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo, failed to stop the English media and the team's fans driving Meier into hiding.

    Now Ronaldo is on the end of the vitriol and we are told that Rooney had to be held back from the Portuguese dressing room after the match as wanted to 'sort out' his Manchester United team-mate. By breakfast the following morning Rooney was reportedly telling all and sundry that he was going to split Ronaldo in two the next time he saw him.

    That Ronaldo was also the Portuguese player who stepped up and slotted home the match-winning penalty has only added further fuel to the flames of anger that have swept through the England camp.

    But, if England want somebody to blame for Rooney's sending off and their exit from the World Cup, they should be directing their anger in the direction of Sven Goran Eriksson.

    It was his decision to go against the advice and wishes of Manchester United and bring Rooney to the World Cup even though the striker was recovering from a metatarsal injured sustained at the end of April. And it was also his decision to play Rooney out of position as a lone striker and into direct conflict with Portugal's two centre backs.

    Given Rooney is still trying to regain match sharpness and has a notoriously short fuse, it was a decision that eventually blew up in Eriksson's face.

    Frustrated by the lack of service and support from his team-mates, plus the physical attentions of Carvalho and Fernando Meira, Rooney's temper finally boiled over in the heat and humidity of Gelsenkirchen.

    Yes, he should have been given a free-kick when Carvalho tested the elasticity of his white jersey but that is no excuse for what happened next.

    Retaliation is not allowed in football no matter what the provocation and Rooney would be far better advised to beg forgiveness for his indiscretion rather than trying to sort out Ronaldo.

    And, if the English still want a scapegoat, they should blame the man who failed abjectly to deliver after being paid a staggering €37m to do so. Or, better still, they should blame the blazers who believed he was worth that sort of money.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 11:28 PM  

  • Good article john despite the obvious anti-English bias in it. I do blame ronaldo but not just him - I hate Sven for playing the way he did. Anyone in England can tell you 4-5-1 with a scouse dwarf up top isnt going to work, should have been 4-4-2 and thats not hindsight speaking. As for the Portuscum England match, we were poor until Rooney was off - my own opinion is that its tough to tell whether he meant it or not - no-one seems sure if it was an accident and Rooney didnt stamp on him which is what you would expect if Rooney meant it. Ronaldo however - he is a piece of shi*. And in the France game tonight, he further disgraced himself with his dives - not just him, Deco, Pauleta. Horrible cheats. Good riddance to the scum. Least sporting team ever and that dates back to 2000 when 3 of them got bans after being poor losers, in 2002 rumours of them going to the Koreans and asking for a draw and ending up with 9 men on the pitch, the game against Holland this tournament, the diving against England and France. I hate them.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 6:57 PM  

  • Yup, they are a despicable bunch. Will say no more in case anybosy is still avoiding the result.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 7:50 PM  

  • Similar article by James Lawton in the Independent today:

    ...and Lawton is English so not sure if this also qualifies as "anti-English bias" ;-)

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 3:01 PM  

  • Well said Busby. I fall into the camp that saw no volition in Rooney's foul, but you lay the blame correctly on Sven's head.

    Because he was a lame duck, he behaved recklessly by taking the just recovered Owen, the crocked Rooney, and the completely untested Walcott along with Crouch. He played a 4-5-1 that suited none of these players even if fit.

    Being a Gooner, I'm also very disappointed that he took Wolcott seemingly with the intention of only playing him in the group stage, against possibly Trinidad if we were sufficiently ahead. Once things unraveled as they did, it was clear that he was only going to be a passenger this time. Then he allowed to go unanswered, persistent rumoring in the press that his decision not to play Theo was that he hadn't impressed in training sessions. That's not helpful for a player who was already thrust into a stressful position.

    That England went out like they did could only surprise someone as stupid as those at the FA who decided not to deal with the constant stream of bullshit from Sven -- the office help he was screwing, the too-cozy with Chelsea stance that unsettled Gerrard, the fake Sheikh -- it's endless.

    By Blogger gooner71, at 4:35 PM  

  • Taking a player that HE HAD NEVER SEEN PLAY has to be one of the most amazing managerial decisions of all time. Its up there with Mick McCarthy not realising the Spaniards were down to 10 men in extra time against us in 02 - but that was less a decision than just incompetence.

    The amazing thing about the Walcott decision is that we are all experts in hindsight but, in this case, everybody from top managers to ex-pros to normal armchair experts knew this was crazy.

    The only logic I could see in it at the time was that, if Rooney didn't make it in time for the final squad, he wanted some real pace up front. Once Rooney made it though, Walcott should have been replaced by Defoe. That was even a stretch but I was trying to understand what Sven might me thinking.

    Does this also raise questions about McClaren though? I know Sven was the boss but surely when you are contemplating making decisions like that you need a voice in your ear to tell you you are nuts.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 4:52 PM  

  • Friends don't let friends pick players they have never seen.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 4:52 PM  

  • Walcott was bad but could have been justified had he played. By never playing him it just becomes a mad decision. I agree it wasnt a bad idea from a pace aspect but I do think he needed a 5th striker - could have left jenas home and taken one, though whoever was 5th was not good enough anyway but may have let Sven try a 4-4-2. Sven should have gone 4-4-2 anyway with Crouch and Rooney.
    Apparently according to media reports, McClaren told Sven no.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 5:06 PM  

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