Actually, England seem inspired enough….
Talk about building yourself up for a fall. Roy Hodgson has claimed that Wayne Rooney can be England's inspiration as they attempt to seal a place in the Euro 2012 quarter finals tonight against the Ukraine.
June 19th, 2012
Wayne Rooney returns to England action tonight after successfully arguing that needlessly and stupidly kicking somebody very hard in the back of the leg is worthy of a two match ban, not three – and Roy Hodgson is very happy about that.
“His attitude was perfect in training sessions. He has been very lively, energetic and enthusiastic. That’s a positive,” Hodgson told BBC Sport.
Indeed, Roy went on to compare Wayne to Pele, in a leap of faith that puts the England manager very much at the top of a rickety ladder.
The reason is that, for all that Wayne Rooney is a much better player than Andy Carroll, England have actually been getting on without him. Since Wayne’s red card against Montenegro, England have gone on to lose just once in seven outings (and the one they lost was down to a last minute winner for Holland). They’ve beaten Spain, Belgium, Sweden twice and Norway in that run – all with Rooney making just one token substitute appearance. Does England really need that much inspiration?
In fact, inspiration will probably come from Theo Walcott, who turned the game in England’s favour on Friday night when he came on against Sweden.
The Arsenal whippersnapper has been cleared to play after suffering a bout of hamstring-ouch during training, and he’ll most certainly replace James Milner.