Man United’s Rooney did not deliver at Euro 2012, admits Hodgson

Roy Hodgson concedes Wayne Rooney failed to live up to expectations as England crashed out of Euro 2012 on Sunday

roy hodgson
Roy Hodgson's side were beaten by Italy on penalties in the last eight PA Photos

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Roy Hodgson admits Wayne Rooney failed to live up to expectations England amid his much-hyped return from suspension at the European championship.

The 26-year-old missed England’s opening two games of the group stage after the Manchester United striker was dismissed in a qualifying game against Montenegro last October.

Rooney scored on his return to Hodgson’s first-team in a 1-0 victory over Ukraine in an otherwise quiet display, and the England manager persevered with the Red Devils talisman for the quarter-final against Italy.

However, the former Everton striker failed to guide a single attempt on Gianluigi Buffon’s goal in 120 minutes as England were eliminated on penalties by Cesare Prandelli’s side.

“I think we put a lot of expectations on Wayne,” said Hodgson. “When he missed the first two games, we were all believing that what we needed to do was to get to the third game and Wayne Rooney will win us the championships.

“That maybe was too much to ask of him. Wayne certainly tried very hard, but he didn’t have his best game. I think he would admit that.”

Although Hodgson admitted Rooney was under a lot of pressure to help guide England to their first major tournament semi-final since Euro ’96, the 64-year-old believes it is only natural that a key player of any team is burdened with extra responsibility to deliver.

“Do we put too much expectation on Rooney? Well we do, but so do other teams with their players, don’t they? I think had [Andrea] Pirlo played poorly last night, it might have affected the Italians’ performance,” added Hodgson.

“I think in all top international teams, you’re looking at one, two, possibly three individuals that everyone recognises as being exceptional world-class talents.

“When you get to the big stage, you’re hoping those players perform and show they’re world-class talents, like the Maradonas that win Argentina a World Cup with his performance.”

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