Fabio Capello has warned Wayne Rooney that he may have put his Euro 2012 dreams at risk with his red card in Montenegro on Friday night.
The Italian was at pains to point out Rooney remains part of his plans and, barring injury, will be part of his squad in Poland and Ukraine next summer. However, there was a pretty nasty sting in the tail of Capello's words, one that it is impossible to imagine predecessors Sven-Goran Eriksson and Steve McClaren delivering.
"I need to find the solution for the first game, or two games, that Rooney will not play. And if we find that solution, he needs to work to return to the first 11," said Capello.
"You know me. Sometimes I make mistakes but I try to select the best players, in the best moment of form. There were two I did not select for this game who are doing really well.
"I saw the game that (Jermain) Defoe played against Arsenal. He did really well. He ran a lot and pressed a lot. Daniel Sturridge is the same."
When asked if he was really prepared to leave Rooney out even if one of the world's best players was available for selection, Capello replied: "Yes. In my life as a manager I have put on the bench a lot of players. I always decided who was the best player at that moment."
Furthermore, Rooney will be missing when England take on world champions Spain at Wembley next month, and when Capello announces his starting line-ups for the friendlies that follow the 25-year-old will not be in those either.
"Rooney will not play against Spain. I want to test new players, a new style and different movement," added Capello, before broadening his point.
"Sometimes he will come on at half-time. But not from the start. He will not start.
"We need to prepare the first XI who will start in the Euros. I have got a lot of forwards at this moment, really good forwards, and I need to find the best solution."
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