So this is
what happens when a nation's eggs are put in just one basket.
Sweaty palms, anxiety, a racing heart, rapid breathing, uncontrollable
shaking - all symptoms that have broken out among England fans as doubts emerged over Wayne
is apparently giving him some bother and the problem is only getting worse - a
situation that could lead to the nightmare scenario of England heading to the
World Cup without their best player. Or at least with a half-fit best player.
It's the moment
England fans have been dreading - and a seemingly inevitable one. Considering
what he gives both in training and during matches, Rooney is an accident
waiting to happen. He is bound to succumb to injury sooner or later, and ED
cannot escape the feeling that he will crumble a couple of weeks before his
nation needs him the most.
England expect to be able to go to a World Cup with a full complement of
in-form players, anyway? They might actually stand a chance of winning it if
that were the case.
Rooney's incredible form, and with others around him underperforming, it's
understandable that England are pinning their hopes of World Cup glory on him,
but to rely so heavily on one player cannot be healthy.
scare merely serves to highlight the point. What on earth would England do
Alex Ferguson unwilling to wrap his star man in cotton wool until the summer -
why should he? - and considering Rooney's desire to give his all in everything
he does, he will continue to run the risk of injury/fatigue/burnout ahead of
the tournament in South Africa.
We can only
keep our fingers crossed, and try to avoid widescale panic.
- - -
the topic of players who give their all, Barcelona fans will be delighted to
see that Thierry Henry is totally committed to the club's cause - totally 48
per cent committed, that is.
apparently "doesn't want to play against Arsenal" in the
quarter-finals of the Champions League - just what Barca fans wanted to hear ahead
of one of the biggest games of their season so far.
You see Titi,
not usually the egotistical kind, is scared of his own brilliance. Yes, the
last thing he wants to do when he visits the Emirates is inflict damage on the
club he loves so much.
indeed, and likely to ensure he gets a rapturous reception on his return to North
London, but what must Barca fans think of him?
cannot be too impressed, especially after Henry endeared himself even less by
saying: "The bond that I have with the Arsenal fans I will never get anywhere
else." Not even at the Nou Camp, clearly.
add that he wasn't saying he would not "try to fight or whatever" against
Arsenal, but his words have given out entirely the wrong impression and any
slight under-par performance will get tongues wagging.
ED were Pep Guardiola, it would grant Henry his wish and drop him for both
games of the two-legged tie. Who wants someone in their team who does not want
- - -
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I've never spoken publicly about
contracts before. I don't think they should be discussed mid-season. I have
always signed mine in the summer in the past. But..." Joe Cole has clearly
picked up a bout of John Terry-itis as he seeks a new deal at Chelsea.
HEADLINE OF THE DAY: It has to go to The Sun's 'Civil Wor', a
reference to the alleged training ground bust-up between Newcastle's Steven
Taylor and Andy Carroll which has reportedly left the former with a broken jaw
and facing the rest of the season on the sidelines.
FOREIGN VIEW: Our colleagues over in Madrid have waded into
the great is-Lionel-Messi-the-best-ever debate. Their conclusion? He's superlative,
magical, unpredictable, brilliant, from another planet, but not yet the
greatest ever. That accolade can wait until he adds a World Cup winners medal to
his trophy cabinet this summer. If you understand Spanish, it might be worth a
COMING UP: It's a busy midweek night of action tonight,
with West Ham take on Wolves in the Premier League, Championship, League One
and League Two programmes, plus St Johnstone v Falkirk in the SPL and Ross
County v Hibernian in the Scottish Cup. And if that's not enough for you, there
are two games in La Liga to follow.