Wayne Rooney: Manchester United Star Will Shine for England After Ban
England managed a positive 1-1 result against France without Wayne Rooney, and they'll have to face a tough squad without him in the country's second Group D game against Sweden.
But when he returns for the tilt against Ukraine—and moving forward in the tournament, if the English squad manages to advance past the group stage—expect major fireworks from the goal-scoring forward.
Rooney was originally banned for three games after kicking Montenegro's Miodrag Dzudovic during an October match, but UEFA reduced the ban to two games after an appeal (via BBC Sport).
And one would think he'll be chomping at the bit while he is forced to watch England's first two games.
Rooney didn't score in four 2010 World Cup games, and that bitter performance surely has remained in the back of his mind for the past two years. He's done better since, netting two goals in six starts for the English team in 2011-12.
Plus, he's coming off a fantastic season that saw him score 35 goals in all competitions for Manchester United, capping off his finest individual club season and arguably his greatest all-around year.
Combining his excellent form this year and the obvious motivation to erase the memory of a disappointing World Cup, one would think Rooney had the perfect recipe for a huge performance at the Euros.
England is a team to be feared with Wayne Rooney on the pitch.
But it is also a recipe for something else—a pressing Rooney who could once again disappoint by trying to do too much individually.
England shouldn't need him to play the savior against Ukraine. The Three Lions will be the more talented squad in that match, and he'll have his opportunities. If he doesn't rush them or try to create them in unfavorable circumstances, he should start his Euro Cup by finding the back of the net.
A first-match goal should propel an elite run of form from Rooney should England advance, making them a far more difficult squad to face. England's run probably won't last terribly long, but look for Rooney to be in top form while it does.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets really wanted to have another.
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