In the book Walcott reveals how the England camp is often fractured with players forming cliques based on their clubs. One man gets along with everyone though, as Walcott notes:
‘One of the best mixers, one of the people who moved easily between the cliques, is Wayne Rooney.
‘He’s such an easy bloke to get along with and he’s popular with everybody.
‘In the future I think he’ll make a great England captain.
‘The other thing about him is that he always wants to win. Always.’
‘A few days after we arrived in Germany for the 2006 World Cup, I walked past the snooker room in the hotel and Wayne was having a match with John Terry.
‘It was close but when JT sank the winning pot, Wayne lost his rag and snapped the cue with his hands.’
It’s funny what a difference a year can make, this time in 2010, Rooney was being roundly criticised by the media for his poor showing in South Africa, plus his lack of goals. Then came contract-gate.
This season however with a goal already to his name -from open play no less- a new barnet and the media queueing up to heap praise on him, there could be an annus mirabilis on the horizon.