Wayne Rooney's 3-Match Ban: Why Dropping Just Rooney Isn't Enough

Mike BrazierContributor IIOctober 14, 2011

PODGORICA, MONTENEGRO - OCTOBER 07: Wayne Rooney of England kicks Miodrag Dzudovic of Montenegro before being sent off during the UEFA EURO 2012 group G qualifier match between Montenegro and England at the Gradski Stadium on October 7, 2011 in Podgorica, Montenegro.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

So UEFA have announced that Wayne Rooney has been banned for three matches at the upcoming European Championships. Many England fans are mourning us losing our best player for the group stages.

Personally, I see it as an opportunity.

Rooney is obviously our best player and possibly our only World Class player, but it's been a long time since he took his A-game or even his B-game to England. He needs to understand he doesn't have a god-given right to start for England.

For the friendlies between now and then, Capello needs to experiment with young players. We have such an amazing group of players coming up, we need to blood them sooner rather than later. Now seems the perfect time.

Start Daniel Sturridge up front with Danny Welbeck. Both know each other well, having played together at youth levels and both are in great form. It makes sense, they also complement each other very well. Welbeck can play the out and out striker role, while Sturridge drifts behind and to the wings to bring Welbeck into play. We can even chuck Carroll in there as well to provide us with a mix of attacking options.

Here's the question I have to ask: Why stop there? England have great young talents coming up all over the pitch and our former "Golden Generation" is on its knees.

Let's talk about our defense, during the mid 2000's John Terry and Rio Ferdinand were arguably the best center-back paring in the world, now Ferdinand can't be trusted to stay healthy and Terry is just far to slow to cope with the best players in the world. We could maybe limp one of them through the next European Championships, but nether are going to make it to the 2014 World Cup.

At 25, Gary Cahill is close to becoming one of the best Center backs in the world and could lead the defense with a less-experienced partner. That less experienced partner should come in the form of Phil Jones, he has all the hallmarks of a world class defender and is in top form for Manchester United. With Chris Smalling as back up, we're leaving us in safe hands.

It was all too obvious at the last World Cup that England are missing a decent right-back. Glen Johnson has never been good enough and never will. In Micah Richards and Kyle Walker, we have two excellent right-backs with have two different styles of play, again giving us more options to choose from.

Again in midfield, we had two of the best central midfielders in the world, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard. Both are past their prime and will do well to make it to the next World Cup.

Unfortunately, we're a little light on the ground with young central midfielders. Tom Cleverley is a great talent who found himself a place in the starting lineup.

Along with him, we have Jack Wiltshire who should be fit again for the European Championships. Jack is arguably Arsenal's most exciting player and their best midfielder.

James Milner is a great pick as a backup central midfielder. Starting his career as a right-winger, Milner has found his best success as a central player, but he can play most positions on the pitch. Milner's versatility has been his downfall, with both Capello and Mancini choosing to employ him as more of a super sub, him slotting in where ever they're struggling.

Josh McEachran is too young at present for England. However, he will be a big player for us in the next World Cup and for the many years afterwards.

Our wingers are our great strength with Ashley Young, Adam Johnson, Theo Walcott and Aaron Lennon all having the ability to play on both wings and make an impact, giving us a nice amount of options on both sides. 

I'm not saying we should completely ban our older players from the next World Cup. Scott Parker is playing the best football of his career, while Frank Lampard is still able to add a little something to England's midfield as he showed for Chelsea recently.

We've yet to see how Gerrad will be after he comes back from his injury, so I can't see him being completely washed up just yet. John Terry would be an amazing figure to have in any England camp and also would be a needed fourth center-back–just in case any injuries happened.

Finally, Darren Bent and Jermain Defoe can sit in our attack with Sturridge, Welbeck and Carroll to insert some needed experience.

With a squad like this, we can at least challenge. With younger, hungrier players, England may actually look like they care about the shirt they wear for once.


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