Fabio Capello calls on Manchester United's Wayne Rooney to save England

04 February 2009 10:07
Capello, who names his squad on Saturday, hopes to watch Rooney in action for Manchester United at West Ham on Sunday.

Rooney has not played since picking up a hamstring injury on Jan 14 and United will understandably be cautious about overworking such an important player as they pursue the quadruple. Ferguson has indicated that Rooney will feature at Upton Park and Capello wants the forward to report to England's Hertfordshire base afterwards.

With Jermain Defoe, Michael Owen and Theo Walcott injured, Capello is short of attacking class apart from Emile Heskey and has taken to watching the West Ham striker, Carlton Cole, in recent weeks. Cole will again be assessed by Capello on Sunday while hisassistant, Franco Baldini, will be at Tottenham Hotspur versus Arsenal.

Capello's decision to talk to Ferguson makes sense as he wants to ensure there is no repeat of the club-versus-country tensions that spilled over before England's last international. Liverpool were furious that their captain, Steven Gerrard, had to undergo a 400-mile round trip to have an injury checked by England despite Anfield insisting he was lame. It did not help that Gerrard limped off after 15 minutes in the Merseyside derby on Wednesday night.

James Milner, Aston Villa's exciting winger, may be called up from the under-21s if Capello feels the seniors need reinforcing. The Italian has also to make a decision on Joe Hart's immediate future as he has consistently stated that only those playing regularly for their clubs will be picked. Hart has lost his place in Manchester City's goal to Shay Given.

Source: Telegraph