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Rooney: Hodgson’s (not so) secret weapon

English team manager Roy Hodgson has issued a warning to their competitors in the Euro 2012 tournament: he is this close in maximizing his secret weapon – Wayne Rooney

Rooney, who was the 2004 UEFA’s youngest goalscorer and two-time England player of the year, watched from the benches as the Three Lions (even without his help) managed to match the French team to a draw last Monday in Donetsk.

Rooney’s ban from the games is about to end. We would remember he was sent off a game after a questionable tackle he made on the game against Montenegro. Hodgson, even as delighted with his team’s performance, specifically by Danny Wellbeck and Jermain Defoe, is still wanting the idea of having the Manchester United striker back in the game.

"Danny Welbeck was very good against France, wasn't he? I think he deserved to start the game." Hodgson told the Mirror.

"But I like Andy Carroll, too. His performance in Oslo made a big impression on me and I wouldn't hesitate to play him, just as I wouldn't hesitate to play Jermain Defoe. And our real ace in the hole, I think, should be Wayne Rooney. He is very fit and he's raring to go. He really can't wait to get on the field. And if he can get on the field and can play like Wayne Rooney, then we're going to be a bit more difficult to beat for some of these teams. You can only benefit from having someone of his quality in your team."

Rooney, who got the red card after a tackle against Miodrag Džudović of Montenegro during the qualifying matches, is obviously regretful. Captain Steven Gerrard believes that the United striker can be the man to ensure the English team’s progress to the quarter-finals. Rooney is expected to return on june 19, in another Group D match, this time against Ukraine.

"Wayne feels fine. He's frustrated at the fact that he can't play until the final [group] game and I know he's regretting doing what he did against Montenegro," Gerrard stated.

"But he's coping well and he's itching to get out there and play himself, to show what he can do for us. "The fact is that any team would miss Wayne Rooney. He's a world-class player and he's been one of the best players in the Premier League this season. "We're hoping we can be in with a good chance of qualifying when he comes back. He can be the difference for us in that third game to get us into the latter stages of this competition."

What do you think?