'A devastating blow'
Jamie Redknapp blasted Wayne Rooney after his red card ruled him out of at least the first game at Euro 2012.
Last Updated: 09/10/11 6:11pm
Jamie Redknapp blasted Wayne Rooney for dealing England "a devastating blow" before a ball has even been kicked at Euro 2012.
Fabio Capello's men booked their place in next summer's finals with a 2-2 draw in Montenegro that saw the Manchester United striker receive his second red card for his country.
Rooney was sent off 17 minutes from time - with England leading 2-1 - for kicking out at Miodrag Dzudovic and FIFA has confirmed that he will serve a minimum of a one-game suspension, from the start of next summer's tournament in Poland and the Ukraine.
And Sky Sports' Redknapp believes that has left Capello with a massive problem already.
"The fans here, everybody at home will be delighted, but it has been overshadowed by what Wayne Rooney has done tonight," he said.
"It's great to be at the European Championships. It's what everybody at home wants, it's exciting times and we can all sit back and look forward to the summer now.
"John Terry said that Wayne Rooney going off didn't cost us, but it's an absolutely devastating blow. If Wolfgang Stark (the referee), deems that to be reckless, aggressive play, he might actually miss the first three games.
"For us to lose our talisman, our best player, the player that everybody looks to, the player that everyone wants to pass to, the player that can do something different, is a devastating blow."
England of course can now look forward to another major championship, one that looks like being Capello's farewell fling.
But instead of making plans to go out on a high, the Italian must now find a replacement for his star striker - for one game at least.
"We should be sat here so please because obviously we're at the European Championships, but unfortunately it's been overshadowed by what Wayne Rooney's done tonight," said Redknapp.
"We're going to lose our talisman for one - hopefully only one - game when the Championships start. I don't know what he was doing tonight. Why you would get involved when you're winning 2-1? Only he will be able to tell us.
"We should be sat here enjoying this, looking forward to the European Championships, wondering how we'll play; what's the system going to be? Will he play up front? Will Rooney play the number 10 role?
"Instead we're wondering who's going to be our striker; is it going to be (Danny) Welbeck? Is it going to be Andy Carroll? It should be Wayne Rooney."
The sending off capped a difficult week for Rooney, following the arrest and bail of his father and uncle on Thursday, in connection with an alleged betting scam in Scottish football.
Capello insisted before and after the game that his star striker was mentally right to play and although fellow pundit Glenn Hoddle questioned his state of mind before kick-off, Redknapp pointed out the similarities between this red card and the infamous sending off against Portugal at Euro 2006.
And he was quick to dispel the myth that the 25-year-old, who has scored 28 goals in 72 England appearances, needs aggression in his game.
"Why on earth has he got involved in something that was so not worth getting involved in?" he said.
"We're cruising in this game and he decided to to that. I would love to know what's going through his mind.
"I'd love to say it's because of what's gone on off the field with his dad, but you know what? He's done it before hasn't he? There's no need for him to get involved there.
"I've heard a lot of people say he plays at his best when he plays angry but I couldn't disagree more. When he's angry, that's the sort of thing he does.
"No disrespect to anyone else, but everyone wants Wayne Rooney there, the tournament wants Wayne Rooney there. I'm so frustrated he's got involved tonight."