Cole to the left of me, Owen to the right, here I am stuck in hospital with a metatarsal injury

Ashley Cole, Michael Owen, Ledley King and now, most damaging of all, Wayne Rooney have succumbed to the curse of the metatarsal. A shocking weekend for England fans, but at least England assistant coach Tord Grip is kidding himself being optimistic: 'Rooney may be out for five or six weeks,' he says. 'That might mean he only misses the first match.' Tord, hang on a minute, experts are saying it's six weeks minimum, so how can you conveniently knock a week off his recovery schedule…

Cole to the left of me, Owen to the right, here I am stuck in hospital with a metatarsal injury cont…

This blind faith reminds me exactly of how a nation conned itself into thinking David Beckham would be fit for the last World Cup. Becks conned himself too. Beckham's lack of fitness meant he couldn't track back and cover Ronaldinho for Brazil's equaliser in the quarter final.

People who say they'd still take Rooney to Germany even if he's only 80 percent fit are idiots:

a) This is the World Cup, not a kickabout for a Nike advert.
b) Roo is more likely to do long-term damage to himself if he plays and he's not totally fit. He's only 20, for God's sake.
c) Joe Cole, Steven Gerrard, John Terry, Frank Lampard, Paul Robinson, David Beckham, Rio Ferdinand… when was the last time England could boast seven world-class players in its squad? Even without mentioning Michael Owen and Ashley Cole (and both will probably be fit by June), we have a very good bunch of players. They'll want to 'Do it for Roo' as well – as I'm sure the red-tops will remind us constantly.

Chin up, plucky Englanders. It's not the end of the World (Cup)…