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Preparing For The World Cup: England’s World Cup Squad Announcement Was Spot On 4

Posted on June 03, 2010 by Thomas Rooney

Fabio Capello has tried to keep the press away from his team.

Perhaps the biggest off-field difference between the managerial reign of Fabio Capello and that of his predecessors has been the handling of the press.

In the past team sheets for pre-tournament friendlies would be received by reporters and World Cup match betting experts well in advance of kick off, while coaching staff and players seemed to be available for interview no matter what.

Sven Goran Eriksson especially gave the impression that the media circus was not only an inescapable fact of international football but should also be actively encouraged. Perhaps the nadir of this little love in was the glitzy press conference he used to announce his squad for the 2006 World Cup. 

Fast forward four years and things couldn’t be more different Capello has largely shut out the press and although keeping them in the dark has bred some resentment among the less reputable areas of the press, there’s no doubt it has gained him wider respect. Read the rest of this entry →

Preparing For The World Cup: Wayne Rooney Feels Good 4

Posted on May 27, 2010 by Thomas Rooney
Wayne Rooney will be a key to England's World Cup success.

Wayne Rooney will be a key to England's World Cup success.

Most people would agree Wayne Rooney is pivotal to England’s World Cup chances this summer. In fact, many argue that without him, Fabio Capello’s men might as well not turn up in South Africa.

With this in mind, it is good to hear Rooney speak positively about his fitness and general wellbeing as the first game against USA gets closer and closer. England’s World Cup odds make them third favourites for the tournament, and they need their key players at full fitness.

The Manchester United striker has revealed that he has been in “every training session” with England since the World Cup squad got together and that he “feels good” ahead of a very important few weeks for the national team.

There have been rumours since the Mexico game that Rooney has an ankle injury, but he has dismissed that particular story as “a load of rubbish”. Obviously, this is good news, but you have to wonder where this rumour emerged from.

It seems as though some people are determined to panic England supporters. Rooney is clearly the team’s most important player, so news of an injury to him will get people talking won’t it? Therefore, someone decided to report an ankle injury, seemingly out of nowhere.

It is good to hear the player himself put everyone straight on his fitness. The only slight problem he has is a “bit of a stiff neck” but this is something that should pass before the Japan game on Sunday.

Rooney did admit that he feels slightly “jaded” after a long season, but this is to be expected. Still, he might actually be fresher than others as he “hasn’t trained a lot in the last six weeks”, presenting him with a perfect opportunity to rest up ahead of England duty. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

      Read more »

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