Date: 17th January 2006 at 2:33pm
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Let’s be honest here, referee Jeff Winter is from the same school at Graham Poll and both love to make the headlines.

So is it any surprise when Winter spouts off his mouth saying Wayne Rooney’s red mist could ruin England’s chances of winning the World Cup?

The Manchester United striker could well be the key to a bid for glory in Germany this summer. But Winter fears Rooney’s indiscipline will undermine England’s chances and cited Saturday’s Manchester derby as an example.

Winter: ‘Here is a young man who could win the World Cup for us but I can tell you now that he will not last 90 minutes because the referees (in Germany) will be under instructions to clamp down on indiscipline for the image of the game.

‘At half-time (in the Manchester derby) we see Wayne Rooney run half the length of the pitch to scream and gesticulate at the referee because he thought he should have had a penalty and then turn away and use foul and abusive language.

‘Earlier this season he was sent off for United in the Champions League and then had the set-to while playing for England in Ireland (he was booked in England’s World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland in Belfast) so he clearly hasn’t learnt has he?

‘And I just fear our World Cup hopes will go up in smoke because of – not only Wayne Rooney in fairness – but also because of other (England) players who will not accept referee’s decisions.

‘Also, with foreign referees, he (Rooney) may find that the yellow card he got on Saturday turns into a red card in a World Cup match. Players have to show more respect for the referee’s decisions.’