Wembley pitch killed Wayne – Fergie

Rooney aggravated a knee injury after playing all but four minutes

of England’s friendly win over Egypt at Wembley in midweek, and

that kept him out of United’s Premier League game at Wolves on

Saturday evening. Now Ferguson claims it could also keep him out of

their midweek European last-16 second-leg tie at Old Trafford,

where United will look to defend a 3-2 lead. Ferguson was not happy

with his star striker for declaring himself fit for international

duty, and United look set to pay the price with the absence of

their £27million man for the return encounter with David

Beckham and company. “Wayne is very doubtful for Wednesday,” said

Ferguson after seeing his side labour to a 1-0 win at Molineux.

“The Wembley pitch has killed him.” Ferguson’s damning assessment

of the Wembley surface is at least being addressed, with a new

pitch being laid before the end of the month – although that is not

much use to United. Before Saturday’s game, Ferguson said: “It

wasn’t looking good from when he got back on Thursday – his knee

was swollen. “He’s a doubt for Wednesday now, which is a bigger

problem for us.” Ferguson left Rooney out of the Carling Cup final

starting line-up last weekend, and was unhappy that he was not

either rested or withdrawn for the national squad in midweek after

being forced to play nearly an hour against Aston Villa. However,

Ferguson’s annoyance was not directed at England coach Fabio

Capello, but rather Rooney himself. “I don’t think he should have

played,” said Ferguson. “It is his own enthusiasm that has caused

it. His problem is that he can’t say no. “He told us on Sunday he

was feeling his knee. Then all of a sudden people put an arm around

his shoulder with England, and he wants to play. “Fabio Capello has

to pick his best team. A win was important so I don’t blame him at

all. “I was more disappointed with Wayne. Why didn’t he come off? I

can’t believe it.” With Michael Owen out for the season with a

hamstring injury, Danny Welbeck out on loan at Preston and Federico

Macheda only just returning from a lengthy spell out, Ferguson

could be left with only Dimitar Berbatov and Mame Biram Diouf to

take on Milan.