FIFA World Cup 2010: England's Wayne Rooney Should Not Apologize, Fans Should

Jamie WardSenior Analyst IJune 19, 2010

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 18:  Wayne Rooney of England shows his frustration during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group C match between England and Algeria at Green Point Stadium on June 18, 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Lars Baron/Getty Images

Another international tournament, another English disappointment.

The lack lustre display from under performing England players against a well-oiled and plucky Algerian outfit has led the country in to uproar.

We paid all this money out for expensive tickets, glossy match programs, over-priced food and drink at the stadium, air fare, hotels. We're away from our families and we have taken time off work; how dare these grossly over-paid prima donnas put in a display like that against such lowly opposition?

This is all I keep hearing today on the news, from people at work or walking along the street, in Sainsbury's, The Post Office, Facebookers, bloggers, Twitter's, and football fans who watch the game every four years.

I'm sorry, but how exactly does the burden of expense paid out by so called loyal supporters rest on the heads of the players?

They don't set the price of tickets for the games, decide how much to charge for food sold at stadiums, or have a say on the cost of flying to South Africa. They are not the ones who pump billions in to the sport at club level, or the ones who decide to pay obscene amounts of money simply to play football.

There is no doubting it was a incredibly poor display, but the reaction from supporters and the media has been typically over the top, and expectedly unsurprising.

It took England fans 93 minutes to turn on Fabio Capello and his misfiring team as the final whistle signalled a torrent of boos that drowned out the constant vuvuzela drone.

It took even less time for the match commentators to switch camps with only half the game elapsed before the ad nauseam questions of team selection, defensive mindset, tactical rigidity, and losing the dressing room filtered across the airwaves.

A manager who stormed through qualifying and had the country and all of it's journo's purring at the thought of winning the competition, who changed the mentality of the players, brought much needed professionalism and discipline off the field, and perhaps regrettably, built up the hopes of a nation desperate to bring home a trophy some believe we have a divine right to possess; simply because we invented the sport.

All forgotten about because of a draw against a team people spent months laughing off as being a walk over.

Luckily for Fabio Capello, a disappointed Wayne Rooney, with his typical short fuse (his English fight, determination, and heart, that supporters insist he keeps, but ridicules when a game is lost or it's aimed at them), spoke out against the chorus of disappointment that echoed around the stadium.

Probably not the wisest of moves from the United player, but the truth appears to have stung a few of the loyal supporters, who are quick to retaliate and point out how much they have spent on supporting the team they love.

The loyal proclaim how they are entitled to their opinion, and how they pay out all that money, so have a right to their say.

Well if that's the case then Wayne Rooney is perfectly entitled to his opinion.

The England striker should certainly not have to put out a public apology for simply voicing a personal opinion that happened to annoy some fickle and fair weather followers. I thought this was a country that championed freedom of speech?

With Wednesday's last group game being a must win in order to progress, its great to see a country and it's media get behind the players and do everything they can to get them across the finish line.

Another International tournament, another English disappointment.

But as I've come to expect from English football over the last few years, it's the supporters and the media who are the biggest disappointment.