Hodgson slams Capello 'cheap' shot

PA Sport
Fabio Capello's comments about Wayne Rooney have attracted criticism from Roy Hodgson
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Fabio Capello's comments about Wayne Rooney have attracted criticism from Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson has accused Fabio Capello of having a "cheap" shot at Wayne Rooney following England's Euro 2012 demise.

Capello appears to have been angered by Rooney's perfectly legitimate pre-tournament observation that communication within the England dressing room was better because Hodgson had a perfect grasp of the language.

Indeed, having now seen Rooney underperform at yet another major tournament, Capello pointedly argued that "he only understands Scottish", underlining the 26-year-old's best displays have come for Manchester United.

Having backed Rooney to the hilt throughout both the build-up to Poland and Ukraine, and the tournament itself, for which the forward missed the opening two games through suspension, Hodgson is hardly likely to change his stance now. And, speaking to talkSPORT, he took Capello to task for his comments.

"Capello is entitled to his opinions, I suppose but I always think it's a bit cheap to kid on a player who was so anxious to do well," he said.

Questions have been asked about Rooney's conduct prior to the tournament, particularly a very public holiday in Las Vegas with former Red Devils team-mate Wes Brown. Hodgson has already dismissed this - and defended his decision to give Rooney an extra week off in the build-up, which meant he missed the friendly win in Norway.

That move could now be interpreted as a mistake given the forward looked so short of match fitness when he did eventually enter the tournament fray against Ukraine. Hodgson is having none of it though, and has revealed he stopped Rooney pushing himself too hard at England's Krakow training base when the United man wanted to do additional work.

"His (Rooney's) attitude was magnificent," said Hodgson. "He was putting in extra work because he was concerned he was behind the others having missed the first two games through suspension.

"His desire to do well was enormous and we were trying to put the brakes on. In the final game he, along with one or two other players, didn't play to the level he can but that's what football is about.

"If every player was a robot and played at the same level in every game then football would be very simple and we wouldn't need coaches."

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