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Anorak | Can Go Roo

Can Go Roo

by | 8th, June 2006

TOO often when a footballer appears on the front pages of the newspapers, the story is sleazy and salacious, taking in spit-roasts, booze and Page 3 stunnas.

But today the news is good. As the Sun’s front page says: “TOE NEWS IS GOOD NEWS.” Wayne Rooney will play in the World Cup. As the Mirror announces on its front page: “Roojoice!”

It was never a certainty the England tyro would make it to Germany. The Sun talks of a “battle” that “raged” for seven hours.

On one side were the blazer-clad doyens of the English FA. They saw the results of the scan on Rooney’s damaged metatarsal and wanted the player to join the rest of the England party in Baden Baden.

On the other side were Manchester United. They were less positive. As a source tells the paper: “It developed into a long hard struggle.”

But the FA won the day, and United are left sweating on the fitness of their star player.

But perhaps they need not worry. As the Mirror says, Rooney will only be fit to play in the later stages of the tournament. And there is no guarantee England will make it that far – especially without Rooney.

Writing in the Times, Martin O’Neill says that even with a “core of five or six genuine world-class players” it is Rooney who holds the key to England winning the tournament.

And scoring a penalty may be pretty important, too. There is a chance that England will face hosts Germany in the second round, a prospect David Beckham is not looking forward to.

The paper says a penalty shoot-out against the Germans is Beckham’s “nightmare”. Beckham – whose missed spot-kick played a part in England’s Euro 2004 quarter-final defeat on penalties to Portugal – says he hopes England “don’t meet Germany in a shoot-out”.

He’s not the only one. The woman seated behind the goal in Row Z is advised to buy a hard hat…



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