For anyone that may have missed it, in England's Euro 2012 qualifier last week, Rooney was red carded for this foul on a Montenegro player.
Don't get me wrong, it's a bad and cheap foul. But three games? I'm not sure it is even deserving of a anything more than the one match ban that comes with the red card.
It's a cheap foul and it doesn't belong in the game, but I view it more of a heat of the moment/frustration foul, as opposed to something deliberate and malicious. It's not nearly as bad as stomping on someone's groin.
If you want a malicious foul, check out the foul by Pepe from Real Madrid against Getafe a couple years ago.
That's a bad foul and worth a ban. Pepe kicks the man not once, but twice—while the guy is on the ground! Then when you think Pepe is going over to apologize, he puts his knee in the guys back and steps on him again. Pure class Pepe. Pepe was deservedly banned for 10 games.
Rooney on the other hand did one kick to the ankle and seemed to be genuinely apologetic or remorseful. Maybe he was only putting on a show to try and appease the referee, but I think he did realize he blew it and lost his cool. Whereas I'm still not convinced Pepe believes he did anything wrong.
The worst part of all of this is that it happened during England's final qualifier game. So the three game ban will be imposed at the start of the Euro 2012 tournament; meaning Rooney will miss all of England's group qualifier games.
This is a HUGE blow to England. England has played well in the qualifiers, but they struggled mightily in the World Cup two summers ago. Their national team has built a reputation over the past couple decades of choking during the biggest tournaments. Rooney is undoubtedly England's best striker and arguably their best player. The team will have to rally around their veterans and someone will have to step up and score goals in his absence.
Maybe his absence will be the spark they need and players will step up knowing their backs are against the wall.
Or maybe England will fall apart without a goal scorer and bow out in the group stage, while Rooney will once again be blamed for England's failures.