England's Wayne Rooney reacts during the Euro 2012 quarter-final soccer match against Italy at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, June 24, 2012. (Photo: REUTERS)
Former England coach Fabio Capello refused to let his row with England striker Wayne Rooney die a death on Wednesday as he claimed the player performed much better for Manchester United than his country because he only understood Scottish.
His thinly-veiled reference was to the fact Rooney's manager at Manchester United Sir Alex Ferguson is Scottish and was his riposte to Rooney's remark that under the former AC Milan and Real Madrid handler there were misunderstandings with the players over strategy because the Italian's English was so poor.
"After watching the last game (the Euro 2012 quarter-final defeat by Italy) I think that Rooney understands only Scottish," said Capello in comments published in the English press.
"That's because he only plays well in Manchester, where Sir Alex Ferguson speaks Scottish."
Capello's remarks -- despite their personal tone -- will have struck a chord with many with regard to the 26-year-old's performances at Euro 2012 where he was suspended for the first two games and then produced two lacklustre displays.
Capello's successor in the England job Roy Hodgson conceded himself that Rooney may have struggled to meet the high expectations set by the management.
"I think we put a lot of expectations on him," he said. "When he missed the first two games we were all believing that what we need to do now get to the third game and Wayne Rooney will win us the championships.
"That maybe was too much to ask of him. He certainly tried very hard, but he didn't have his best game (against Italy). I think he would admit that.
"That might be down to a number of factors, but I don't think that fitness itself was a particular factor."
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