Wayne Rooney in the Last Chance Saloon

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Wayne Rooney in the Last Chance Saloon
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

I'm a Manchester United fan and it has to be said.

Last night, Wayne Rooney was a disgrace...

To his country...

To his family, and even...

To his club, because Sir Alex and Sir Bobby have supported him, counseled him, been patient with him, turned a blind eye to some of the things he has got up to which have dragged the Manchester United name through the dirt.

I can't have been alone in believing that whether it was anger management counseling; Coleen's unconditional love; Sir Alex's fatherly support or whatever, that the lad had turned a corner.

Even last night the commentator was implying that maybe the media reports about his father's apparent behaviour had left him frustrated.

The sad truth is that in a 'non-combat zone' on the pitch and, worse still, right in front of the England manager who has as good as said in public that the team will be built around Rooney in future, he kicked out in petulance just because a player backed into him. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

And he may have put England's chances at the European Championship Finals seriously in peril, depending on what length of ban he gets.

At the very least, Wayne has burnt his bridges about being England captain in the foreseeable future.

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Nevertheless, he has shown in the recent past a growing maturity. He interviews well, especially when he is let off the leash by his agent. He has demonstrated a capacity to change, maybe through the stabilising influence of his wife and his new parental responsibility.

David Beckham was vilified after his sending off against Argentina for a similar but more minor offence. It was probably the making of him and he went on to be England's most capped outfield player and an ambassador for English football and British sport.

It was hoped that Rooney's red card against Portugal four years ago would have a similar effect and he has reformed himself to a remarkable degree.

I still hold the belief that he will be the next United captain and in his capacity to learn and grow from this latest episode, but this is Wayne Rooney's moment of reckoning.

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