England pair Walker and Phillips out until the World Cup
NIGEL KNIGHT The Guardian
The first two games of the World Cup were under way with England in fine form as, for a change, they didn’t lose a game.
There was one small area of concern, though. In the opening match against Uruguay, they were well down to 10 men for a quarter of an hour when a red card was waved on from a kick to the head. To their horror, however, they were allowed to carry on regardless and, on another tack, the same thing happened a minute and a half later when Spain’s Fabio Cannavaro went down in a similar fashion. Then it all got worse when Mike Dunn and Stuart Broad went off together before the referee had a chance to blow his whistle. England had lost the game and gone to the quarters.
But they recovered to beat Australia 2-0 in the one-all decider. They won the next three games also, including the opener against New Zealand in which England scored late on and won 2-0. Then two games in a row and the World Cup was over.
In the event, they did well to beat Colombia before being sent crashing out by Argentina and, in the penultimate game, they were beaten themselves, but in front of a huge crowd at Old Trafford they had a fine team, which had just been strengthened by the removal of the injured Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand, and one of the finest displays by Jack Wilshere, who scored two excellent goals and also set up a third for Wayne Rooney.
There was one other bit of bad news. Wayne Rooney, as they do with most footballers, had told friends he was having surgery on an injured shoulder, but there is nothing in the newspapers or on the internet.
England, who were not in the tournament because they were in the last group, were drawn against Argentina in the first knockout round and won, beating them 2-0.
I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this, for if this is true he could miss the next World