We need banned Rooney at Euro 2012, says Gerrard

15 October 2011 11:05

Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard insisted on Saturday that Wayne Rooney must be included in the Euro 2012 squad despite the star striker being banned from all three group games.

Rooney was handed a three-match ban by UEFA after being sent off in last week's final qualifier against Montenegro where a 2-2 draw assured England's place in the tournament in Poland and Ukraine next summer.

"For me he has got to go, the talent that he is," the Liverpool captain told talkSPORT radio.

"He is that good a player I think you have to take the risk and take him. It is devastating he is out for the first three games.

"We will have to see who we come up against in the group games but we should progress from the group stages and then you need your best player out there with you to push on all the way to the final."

Gerrard, who scored in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Rooney's Manchester United at Anfield on Saturday, added that the striker's ban could even spur England on to reach the knockout rounds at Euro 2012.

"Not having him for the first three games will hopefully galvanise the squad," said Gerrard.

"We all need to pull together and take responsibility with him not being there. Then hopefully if we do get out of the group he will be there fit and fresh to help us push on."

Source: AFP