ASSUMING England fail to overturn yesterday's UEFA ruling and Wayne Rooney remains suspended for the opening three matches of Euro 2012, he should not be selected for the tournament.

There will be those who claim it is still worth taking Rooney because of his potential impact in the latter stages of the competition, but that dramatically overestimates England's chances in the group stage and seriously underplays the seriousness of the striker's reckless rush of blood in Montenegro.

Are England really so good that they can afford to take qualification for the knockout stage for granted? Can they really waste one of their four striker spots on a player who will be kicking his heels for all three group games?

Assuming Fabio Capello only selects four forwards, if one of them is Rooney, what happens if one of the other three gets injured in England's opening match?

One game in, and even if Capello is selecting a formation with only one centre-forward, there will be a crippling lack of options on the substitutes' bench.

Alternatively, what if England lose their opening match and therefore have to target a victory in the remaining two?

Throw on an extra attacker? Tough if he's sitting in the stands ruing a petulant kick in Podgorica.

Even if England were to make it through the group stage, what message would it send to the players who had performed so effectively if they were immediately axed to accommodate Rooney?

If England were to progress to the knockout stage in Poland and Ukraine, it would suggest Capello had finally hit upon a formation that was functioning effectively.

Why then wreck it just for Rooney? And if you weren't prepared to wreck it, then why take the miscreant Manchester United striker at all?

The footballing equation simply doesn't stack up, and take a step back from the nitty-gritty of England's tactics and the case for leaving Rooney at home becomes even more compelling.

At some point, someone has to decide that enough is enough. Rooney has let his country down before, most notably when he was dismissed for another kick, this time at Cristiano Ronaldo, in the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup.

Back then, Sven-Goran Eriksson couldn't move quickly enough to wrap his arm around Rooney, excuse his actions and point to Portuguese provocation as an extenuating factor.

He would learn from his mistake we were told, yet here we are less than five years later and Rooney has displayed the same lack of control in yet another high-pressure occasion.

Countless managers have tried the carrot with him; now it is surely time to try the stick.

By missing out on Euro 2012, perhaps Rooney will be forced to accept the gravity of his actions and subsequently think twice about making yet another mistake in the future.

The alternative is that we find ourselves going over the same ground yet again. Probably in Rooney's first game back in the Euro 2012 quarter-finals.