Rooney in World Cup metatarsal battle, still

The media has positively raved about the Rooney toe break for the past few weeks. Sven is noticably annoyed with the constant questioning - will Rooney be fit for the World Cup?

Whilst this specualtion is going on, the rest of the team are trying to get on with things and prove there is more to England than one man. Of course, Ronaldo doesn't make Brazil - there is a team to consider.

Although the next scan is not scheduled till 7 June, there is a constant outpouring of "news" on the matter. Rooney runs up stairs, Rooney eats pasta and taps foot, Rooney plays banjo. None it it matters one jot.

Meanwhile, some poor kid is sitting wondering if he can emerge from the Rooney toe shadow. It might be scary to walk in the footsteps of someone so talented and so young, but imagine having to step up to the plate knowing your second choice.

Of course, Owen can handle the pressure, and he is also recovering from a curse of the metatarsal. Lofty Crouch seems happy to be there and has won himself a following with his crazy dance. Defoe is young, but not so young. As a player he is undoubtedly very good, although he is still pretty much in the shade.

So what about the boy wonder - Walcott? Well, perhaps a bit of tactical mastery from the Svenster. Walcott is young enough to be overawed at his participation and unlikely to suffer from second-rate fever.

The fans are agreed, whatever the outcome, the goals are looking likely from the midfield - Lampard, and man of the moment Gerrard have scored plenty during the domestic season. Beckham is on form, his passing and crossing is perfect once again (lets hope his temper says under control).

But my prediction for real stardom is for Joe Cole. His movement on and off the ball is examplary. His on the ball skills are on a par with some of the best around the world, and in that left-handed role, something we have not had in England for some time.

What ever happens to Rooney's toes, we need to move on, we need to focus on the incredible talent and opportunity we have.


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