Out-of-sorts Rooney insists he’s fully fit

WAYNE ROONEY insists he has no problem with his fitness despite a subdued display in England’s embarrassing European Championship draw with Montenegro.

On Tuesday night Rooney looked a shadow of the player who helped put Bulgaria and Switzerland to the sword just a month earlier as England failed to score in a game at the new Wembley for the first time.

The 24-year-old was playing his first match for more than a fortnight after missing Manchester United’s Champions League win in Valencia and Barclays Premier League draw at Sunderland. Rooney’s form has dipped since unsavoury allegations about his private life emerged in the wake of the Bulgaria win.

But his omission from United’s recent games was down to an ankle injury, which manager Alex Ferguson did not want to aggravate, despite the striker continuing to train.

Rooney said: “I’ve been training for the last two months where I haven’t missed a training session, so I have no problems with my fitness.”

Rooney, who passed up two good chances to spare England’s blushes on Tuesday night, added: “I felt sharp, had a couple of chances; maybe with the first I could have done better but the ‘keeper made a good save with the second one.”

Rooney echoed his team-mates in questioning the performance of German referee Manuel Grafe, accusing the official of giving England’s players “no protection whatsoever”.

Ashley Young was the victim of several poor tackles while in full flight, although he sullied his own reputation when he was booked for diving in the area.

A second penalty incident appeared to go against England, however, when the ball struck Milan Jovanovic’s arm.

“From where I was, I thought it was a definite handball,” Rooney said.

“I don’t think the ref did us any favours. We, as players, felt there was no protection whatsoever.”


SECOND Captains is one of the long-running success stories in Irish podcasting. Ostensibly a sports show led by Eoin McDevitt, Ken Early, and Ciarán Murphy, the former Off The Ball team from Newstalk launched the podcast in mid-2013. two Monday shows are offered for free, with Tuesday-Friday behind a Patreon subscriber model and dubbed ‘The World Service’. It has more than 11,500 subscribers.Podcast Corner: First-class podcasts from Second Captains

The incredible life of Ireland’s first celebrity chef has been turned into a play, writes Colette SheridanHow Maura Laverty cooked up a storm

Their paths first crossed on the top floor of the library at University College Cork in October 2010 when both were students there so Amy Coleman and Steven Robinson were delighted to retrace their footsteps on their big day.Wedding of the Week: College sweethearts open new chapter

Peter Dowdall reveals why all roads will lead to Tullow in County Carlow on February 1Snowdrop patrol: Why all roads will lead to County Carlow

More From The Irish Examiner