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World Cup 2010
Rooney Is Greatest Player World Has Ever Seen
By Shane Clarke
London Correspondent
England managed to beat Japan 2-1 in Austria on Sunday without scoring a single goal. They benefitted from two own goals by Japan during a game in which they performed averagely at best.

I don’t condemn England for their performance. It was the last game before the World Cup, so it was important for them to come out of the game without any injuries. So they wouldn’t have played as full-bloodedly as they ordinarily would.

There was one exception, though. England has a player who knows no other way than to throw every ounce of himself into every match he plays. He is passionate, determined, committed, occasionally hot-headed, but always willing to commit himself 100% to every game. I’m talking, of course, about Wayne Rooney.

Wayne Rooney is the best player the game has ever seen. Yes, I know that’s a big statement, and there will be those of you shouting about the likes of Bobby Moore, Pele, George Best or Bobby Charlton. Every football fan has their opinion on this, so I guess I had better qualify what I said.

There are – and have been – players with better technical ability than Rooney, players with better vision, faster players, stronger ones, there have been players with better temperaments. However, there has never been anyone who combined all of these traits better than Wayne Rooney.

His work-rate is phenomenal. From the moment that ball is in play, he covers the length and breadth of the field, creating goals, scoring goals, tracking back, getting in tackles, he’s basically playing every position on the pitch. I sometimes think he would play in goal as well if he could.

I don’t want to detract from his considerable skill. He is one of the most naturally talented players there has ever been. There are times when he produces magical displays of skill and vision, almost as if he has an extra sense, or prescience. But it’s his desire for the game that sets him apart from everyone else.

Last season, I watched him playing for Manchester United, doing the job of about three players, as usual. Then I saw him run from the opposition goal to his own to get in a tackle and break up play, and then bomb back up the field to set up a goal. Such commitment is almost unique in these days of overpaid prima-donnas who only play when they feel like it. Add that to his sublime skill and you have yourself the best player the game has ever seen.

FA Confident of Keeping Capello

It’s no secret that England manger Fabio Capello has been approached by Inter to take over their vacant managerial role following the departure of Jose Mourinho, who has taken over the reins at Real Madrid. There was a lot of conjecture and rumour over the weekend, especially when it was considered that Capello did not do enough to reassure people at a conference during the run-up to the game on Sunday.

Hoping to allay fears, the FA has held talks with the Italian today (31st May) which they have described as positive, regarding his future as England manager. With the England team being in Austria, the talks between Capello and Club England chairman Sir Dave Richards took place by telephone.

Later, a senior FA source told the BBC that the talk had provided the assurances Capello wanted. England fans will be hoping that this will put an end to the speculation, but bitter experience has shown us that what managers and players say and what they ultimately do can be two entirely different things. So, England fans will not be comfortable until there is a new manager in place at Inter Milan – and that manager is not Fabio Capello.

Kingston fails to make Ghana’s final 23

Midfielder Laryea Kingston made his debut for Ghana against Congo on 27th March 2005. Since then he has gone on to appear a total of 41 times for his country, scoring 6 goals on the way.

The 29-year-old was involved in a long-running dispute mid-season this year with his parent club, Scottish Premier Division side Hearts, over his commitment to his national side. This may or may not have influenced the club’s decision not to renew his contract this year.

Such commitment means it has come as a surprise that Ghana manager Milovan Rajevac has chosen not to include the midfielder in his final 23. Kingston will undoubtedly be sorely disappointed, having been desperate to fly to South Africa having been forced to miss the 2006 World Cup in Germany due to suspension.

Final Ghana Squad

Goalkeepers: Richard Kingston (Wigan, England), Daniel Adjei (Liberty Professionals), Stephen Ahorlu (Hearts of Lions)

Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (Basle, Switzerland), Hans Sarpei (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany), Lee Addy (Bechem Chelsea), John Mensah (Sunderland, England), Rahim Ayew (Zamalek, Egypt), Isaac Vorsah (Hoffenheim, Germany), John Pantsil (Fulham, England), Jonathan Mensah (Granada, Spain)

Midfielders: Dede Ayew (Arlese Avignon, France), Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese, Italy), Stephen Appiah (Bologna, Italy), Anthony Annan (Rosenborg, Norway), Sulley Muntari (Inter Milan, Italy), Quincy Owusu-Abeyie (Al Sadd, Qatar), Derek Boateng (Getafe, Spain), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Portsmouth, England)

Attackers: Prince Tagoe (Hoffenheim, Germany), Asamoah Gyan (Rennes, France), Dominic Adiyiah (AC Milan, Italy), Matthew Amoah (NAC Breda, Holland)



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Shane Clarke serves as London Correspondent for The Seoul Times. He has been involved in humanitarian work for numerous years. He’s also a freelance management consultant. Having completed an honors degree in Law at Wolverhampton University, he then moved on to an MBA at Warwick Business School. He’s heavily involved in the fight against international parental child abduction to Japan.

 

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