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If Rooney wasn’t Rooney would he have been dropped?

Wayne Rooney’s private life has been smeared all over the papers and destroyed another England outing before it has even begun. But how does Capello react? “He’s ready to play.” How will Ferguson react? No doubt it will be a “private matter” and “playing football will be a relief for him.”

Rooney insists he wants to play but should it be his decision?

John Terry was publicly humiliated for what he did earlier in the year and now another England footballer’s wife has to learn of her husband’s sordid second life as papers were preparing to tell millions of people. Rooney was said to be `”devastated.” We would certainly hope so and it’s not a stretch of the imagination for the papers to say so. However Terry was also devastated but was then stripped of the captaincy. Rooney seems untouchable, despite the fact that his crime is almost worse.

That Wayne Bridge had separated from Vannessa Perroncel at the time John Terry slept with her doesn’t make his actions any less vile, but it means that Terry’s major crime was not just betraying a friend, but more so cheating on his wife and “childhood sweetheart.” Likewise, Rooney’s wife Coleen has already had to stand by her “childhood sweetheart” when it emerged Rooney had used the services of prostitutes at age 16. Now she has to go through it all again. The term childhood sweetheart just doesn’t seem appropriate when it involves this squad of England players.

Capello's decision will come under scrutiny tomorrow night

So Capello says Rooney is ready to play. Tell me any other job in the world where a married man with a child could walk into work two days after his marriage comes crashing down and work at 100%? Now throw in an audience of millions watching the man. Now throw in thousands of photographers at his home and at his workplace. The decision doesn’t make sense. Rooney may score tomorrow. He may get a hat-trick, he may get a red card. But Scott Carson has been released for compassionate reasons after the death of a family member. While that is entirely appropriate, I wonder what rules are considered when deciding if a man can play or not when a scandal is involved.

Truth is an England loss tomorrow would see Capello’s job come under intense scrutiny due to the media war against him. Not having Rooney there might make things a little harder. But isn’t that why footballers do these stupid things to the people they love? Because they’re commodities. Perhaps if someone sat Rooney down and said, ‘you’ve been an idiot, anyone can see that. But you need to go and take time to work it out,’ rather than insist he thrown on an England shirt, then perhaps the boy would be able to grow up a little easier.

As it is, England need a result. Capello needs a result. So Rooney plays and lets the papers tell his wife what she should do.

The women involved are not without blame here. Most of us will never know what the lifestyle is like for a millionaire footballer with women throwing themselves at them (and let’s not kid ourselves it definitely happens). It can be avoided. Look at mega stars on the continent like Raul or Paolo Maldini or even foreign stars at home like Torres or Drogba or English men like Paul Scholes or James Milner. Being a superstar doesn’t have to equate to life on the front page.

The woman at the centre of the Rooney allegations told the News of the World: ”

…as far as I’m concerned, paying a girl to have sex with you is one thing. Paying a girl to come back to your marital home when your pregnant missus is out is taking it a step too far. Especially when you know you could easily go somewhere else to get what you want.

“But to make that decision to do it in your house, I thought that was a bit much. You’re really bringing your dirty washing home, aren’t you? There was absolutely no emotion shown or spared for Coleen there. Wayne didn’t seem to feel too much about what he was doing to his wife. I really wrestled with my conscience several times.”

She wrestled with her conscience but then decided to sell her story to a tabloid and pose in her underwear for them. Rigggghhht. What Rooney has done is something that thousands of men do every day to their wives and vice versa. And the argument that footballers are role models and should be held to account as a result is nonsense. When Coleen Rooney wakes up it will still be her marriage, her husband and her child and for that the England man should be ashamed. But until the culture of throwing money at young men and then watching them mess it up changes in English football, this will be the latest in a  series of many more scandals to come.

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