Montenegro skipper Mirko Vucinic has hailed Wayne Rooney as the complete striker, ahead of their Euro 2012 clash.games Theo Walcott has played for them.
Rooney’s preparations for Friday night’s Euro 2012 qualifier in Podgorica have been disrupted by news that three members of his family, including his father, have been arrested as part of a Merseyside Police probe into suspicious gambling during a Scottish Premier League match last season.
However, that will not make Montenegro any less wary about the 25-year-old, with Juventus forward Vucinic amongst his greatest admirers.
“Rooney has everything,” said Vucinic.
“He can run and shoot. Every chance he gets, he scores. That’s the most important thing.
“But he can’t do anything without the ball at his feet. We have to try and stop him from getting it.”
What was building up to a very intriguing match, and a tough final test for England as they try to secure the point required to reach next summer’s finals, has had the edge taken off it by the decision of Montenegro coach Branko Brnovic to rest three of his key men.
The rationale behind the decision is that whilst his team still have a chance of topping Group G, more realistically they are aiming for second spot, for which they require a point from their trip to Switzerland on Tuesday no matter what the outcome is against England.
With eight players on a yellow card, Brnovic has informed Milan Jovanovic, Nikola Drincic and Marko Basa they will not be involved.
“I was forced to make these changes because I can’t risk all eight players being suspended for the last game,” Brnovic said.
“It is something I have to do.
“If we had the whole squad at our disposal, we could have beaten England. But the guys we do have still have the quality to surprise them, I am sure of that.”
Fabio Capello is unlikely to be carried away by thoughts his team might be in for an easy ride.
After all, fellow countryman Giovanni Trapattoni has already warned the England coach what an intimidating atmosphere he should expect.
“The atmosphere is always a huge thing for us,” said Vucinic.
“From the very first game, the fans have always felt like a 12th man to us.
“We have already drawn with England once, when our form was good. Now we have to do it again.
“But Montenegro are not scared of anybody.
“We weren’t afraid during the war, so we won’t be afraid of this.”