The English national football team will play a friendly match against rivals France on the 17th November 2010 at Wembley Stadium. This will be an opportunity for Fabio Capello to assess players ahead of their March 2011 away match against Wales. One particular news that concerns United is the availability of Wayne Rooney for this match. Rooney was sent to the United States for rehabilitation and returned to the club training ground on Saturday 13th November. It is understood that Fabio Capello wanted to pick the striker for the mid-week friendly. However, Sir Alex Ferguson, himself not a big fan of international firendlies and their impact on club performances, has reportedly blocked Fabio Capello from calling on the services of Rooney.
Ferguson believes that this would put the prized striker’s fitness in jeopardy. On the other hand, Capello wanted to give the player some time on the pitch to aid in his return to full fitness. It seems that Ferguson will have the final say on the issue and that Rooney will not be joining the England training camp, and he will continue working on his fitness at the club’s training ground. Understandably, Ferguson wants Rooney to focus on getting his United career back on track before playing for the national team. Selecting Rooney would have meant that the first match played after his return from the United States would have been a friendly international, just 4 days after his return. Rooney is expected to feature in the match against Wigan next weekend, which will be his first game since signing a £13-million-per-season contract at the club for the next 5 years. Regarding the friendly, Ferguson commented, “He can only be available if he’s fit – and he’s not fit.”
With Bent and Defoe both out of contention for the France friendly, Capello may have to resort to Newcastle striker Andy Carroll for his first international call-up.
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