Who Can We Blame Now? England Still Dreadful Even With Wayne Rooney Dropped

Published on: 11 October 2016

It was what most England fans have wanted for weeks and months. For some, even years.

Wayne Rooney was not among the starters as England lined up against Slovenia on Tuesday night, at last dropped to the bench following the most intense criticism and scrutiny he's faced in his lengthycareer to date.

The 30-year-old, once billed as the saviour of English football, has been nothing short of humiliated in the past few weeks, his vast, vast achievements for club and country forgotten or simply ignored by those who have been desperate for someone to blame for the national team's continued failure.

Rooney's very presence on the pitch is 'detrimental', they have said in numbers. 'Without him holding us back, things will finally move forward,' they claimed.

This is the top goalscorer in England's long international history, the country's most capped outfield player of all time. And yet he has been reduced to the role of scapegoat, the one individual preventing the rest of the squad from hitting the heights they would otherwise be at.

But wait. Rooney didn't start against Slovenia and England were still utterly dreadful, limping to a 0-0 draw with a tragic performance that could easily have resulted in a two or three goal loss.

And by the time the captain arrived from the bench with 20 minutes left the lethargy was already terminal. This one had nothing to do with him.

So who does the blame culture in modern football want to try and pin this on now? England can't just be rubbish for no clear and easily fixable reason. No, it has to be someone's fault so they can be vilified, humiliated and have their reputation thoroughly tarnished...

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