LONDON: Former England coach Fabio Capello refused to let his row with England striker Wayne Rooney die a death on Wednesday as he claimed the player performed much better for Manchester United than his country because he only understood Scottish.
His thinly veiled reference was to the fact Rooney’s manager at Manchester United Sir Alex Ferguson is Scottish and was his riposte to Rooney’s remark that under the former AC Milan and Real Madrid handler there were misunderstandings with the players over strategy because the Italian’s English was so poor.
“After watching the last game, I think that Rooney understands only Scottish,” said Capello. “That’s because he only plays well in Manchester, where Ferguson speaks Scottish.”
Capello’s remarks despite their personal tone will have struck a chord with many with regard to the 26-year-old’s performances at Euro 2012 where he was suspended for the first two games and then produced two lacklustre displays. Capello’s successor in the England job Roy Hodgson, however, while he admitted Rooney had not played particularly well in the Italy game was furious with the Italian coach’s remarks.
“Capello is entitled to his opinions, I suppose,” he told talkSPORT radio. “I don’t know what relationship he would have had with Wayne but I always think it’s a bit cheap to kid on a player who was so anxious to do well. His attitude (at Euro 2012) was magnificent. He was putting in extra work in training because he was concerned he was behind the others having missed the first two games through suspension. He was trying to do extra work and we were trying to put the brakes on. His desire to do well was enormous.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2012.
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