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By ESPN Staff

Sir Bobby: Rooney must apologise for red

Sir Bobby Robson feels Wayne Rooney should apologise for his moment of indiscipline that played a part in England's World Cup demise.

Lone-striker Rooney was dismissed in the 62nd minute of England's goalless World Cup quarter-final draw with Portugal in Gelsenkirchen yesterday before crashing out again on penalties.

Rooney was initially seen stamping on Ricardo Carvalho before pushing away Manchester United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, who had demanded referee Horatio Elizondo brandish a card.

The Argentinian eventually obliged, leaving England to soldier on bravely with 10 men for an hour before the agony of another shoot-out saga.

Former England manager Robson, now international football consultant with the Republic of Ireland, commented: 'He was sent off for a bit of stupidity.

'But he was also irritated and frustrated because he was on his own chasing high hopeless balls. There was nothing for him to work with.

'He lost control of himself, he lacked a bit of discipline. I feel he has has to apologise to the manager and the rest of the players.

'He has to learn the art of good behaviour on the playing field at international level. That's paramount.

'Although he is young and inexperienced, we have a terrific player for the future with him.'

Robson feels Rooney's plight was not helped by Eriksson's baffling squad selection, in which he took only four strikers.

'I did think we had the best chance of winning the World Cup with this group of players because they are a fine crop,' added Robson on BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme.

'But we overloaded the squad with midfield players, and we were always short up front. Rooney was always a risk, and so was [Michael] Owen, which proved to be right.'

Former England star Ray Wilkins gave Rooney the benefit of the doubt over the dismissal, and instead pointed an accusing at Eriksson.

'If Wayne was sent off for a stamp then he thoroughly deserved it, if it was for the push then he didn't,' stated Wilkins.

'I saw his foot go in, but I didn't see him stamp on anybody. It was a bit difficult for him to get out of the situation.

'Obviously, he should know better anyway and we all felt Wayne had passed that test.

'But World Cups are a difficult situation because the tension is there. He will learn, and that will come with age, as will the maturity.

'We will certainly see a better Wayne Rooney as the years go on because the experience of a given situation will come into his game.

'But it's a shame he was left to play up front on his own. If Sven had taken six forward players then we might have had a chance of still being there.

'That's the crux of the matter. I wouldn't put England going out down to Wayne being sent off because it actually galvanised us a touch.

'We went for them, and although we were shattered at the death, we gave it a blast. If we had started with the same attitude then I think we would have beaten them.'

There are now question marks over whether Rooney and Ronaldo can ever play together again for United given the latter's actions.

'That's very difficult,' added Wilkins.

'Ronaldo's attitude does appear to stink at times.

'But over the World Cup the one thing that has given me a pain in the backside is the way players have dived around and caused havoc.

'It is an absolute disgrace and has really soured for me what could have been a good World Cup.'