Roo eyes Utd bouncebackability
Wayne Rooney might be licking his wounds at England's Euro 2012 exit - but it will not be long before Manchester United are on his mind again.
Rooney is starting his annual summer break to the general discontent at his performances in Ukraine this summer.
In addition, a seemingly innocuous comment about the England camp being a better place as a direct result of new manager Roy Hodgson having full command of the language seems to have annoyed Fabio Capello.
Yet the former national coach's caustic comments about Rooney only understanding Scottish may, indirectly, have an element of truth about them.
After all, while there have been a couple of significant fall-outs, the 26-year-old seems to react better to Sir Alex Ferguson than anyone else.
And, while Rooney can hardly be blamed for United's website selecting today to highlight an interview he gave them for their official diary of the 2011-12 campaign 'Fight to the Finish', the comments reinforce a perception that the Red Devils will always get the best of their star forward.
"I think we've all learned a lot," said Rooney.
"There have been a lot of games where you get a feeling afterwards that you never want to have again. Hopefully we can get hold of that feeling and make sure it doesn't happen again.
"Just look at all the young players in the squad: they've played a lot of games, had a lot of ups and downs and most of them are already getting selected for their national teams.
"That's all going to help them. The next two or three years will be a big test for them and I'm sure we'll all pull through it."
Rooney's assessment is of a season that brought staggering low points.
The 6-1 home defeat by Manchester City, defeat to Basle in December that saw them crash out of the Champions League, then twice being comprehensively outplayed by Athletic Bilbao - who finished mid-table in La Liga - in the Europa League, were significant scars.
Yet United somehow overcame all that to establish an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League, with just six games remaining, only to toss away the advantage and offer Manchester City a clear run to their first championship in 44 years.
Even then, United were not done, actually finishing the season top, only for Sergio Aguero's last-gasp goal at the Etihad Stadium to rip the prize from their grasp one final time.
Those setbacks, though, cannot be ignored.
Ferguson, who returned to work this week, has already begun the task of reshaping his squad with the arrival of Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund.
In addition, England Under-19 international Nick Powell has been snapped up from Crewe as Ferguson keeps an eye on the future.
Nevertheless, more will be required, even though actually piecing together his squad is not going to be easy given the competing demands of Euro 2012 and the London Olympics.
Of the United squad, only Nani remains active.
However, Ferguson prefers to give his players a minimum of three weeks off, meaning those who have been involved in Poland and Ukraine will miss some, if not all, of the club's pre-season tour to South Africa and Ukraine.
In addition, goalkeeper David de Gea is certain to be required for Olympic duty and Ferguson can expect to lose more players, including possibly Ryan Giggs, when GB coach Stuart Pearce names his squad in time for the deadline on Friday, July 6.
United are also providing three players - Sam Johnstone, Tom Thorpe and Michael Keane - to England's Under-19 championship quest next month.
And, skipper Nemanja Vidic is not expected to travel either as when he returns for duty next week he will be stepping up the rehabilitation from his cruciate operation.
According to United's reserve-team boss Warren Joyce, Ryan Tunnicliffe will be amongst those who are set to be retained next season, but Keane will be sent out on loan.
"There's bound to be interest from the Championship as they both did well last year," Joyce told the Hull Daily Mail.
"The reserves won everything and Keane won the (reserves') player of the year.
"For sure he will go out on loan but Tunnicliffe may well be around the first team."