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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

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

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