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Rooney was under the gun - Ferguson

By Sapa-DPA | Jul 07, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

LONDON - Manchester United head coach Sir Alex Ferguson claimed yesterday that lofty expectations of England striker Wayne Rooney were to blame for the star's poor performance at the 2010 World Cup.

"There was such expectation on him, talk he was going to be the player of the tournament," Ferguson told the BBC website.

"Rooney was going to be the star, he was going to outshine them all - Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo. So that level of expectation comes into it."

Rooney went scoreless in four matches as England were eliminated in the round of 16. Yet Ferguson expects a very different Rooney in four years at Brazil 2014.

"You wait, in four years' time you'll see a different player."

The Scot said he was surprised at England's poor form in South Africa.

"That is going to be one of the imponderables - what has really happened and why are they (England) not getting better form," Ferguson said.

The veteran coach said he was impressed by Germany's run to the semifinals, which is helped by their illustrious World Cup history.

"That organised mentality they have, the belief in themselves, it carries them a long way. The German mentality is 'we are always in the semifinals'," he said.

Ferguson's pick to hoist the trophy on Sunday is the Netherlands, saying: "I don't think they have played anywhere near their best form."

He made the comments before the Netherlands-Uruguay semifinal in Cape Town last night.


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