MALLORCA – Dear Wayne,
I'm not going to ask 'how are you?' because I've got a feeling that the response wouldn't be in the positive after Friday night's meltdown.
Wayne Rooney is given his marching orders against Montenegro. (Photo by Darko Bandic/Associated Press)
I will ask you this though: What possessed you to lash out at Montenegro's Miordag Dzudovic and just boot him from behind?
I've seen some crazy things in my time reporting and watching you play football but that just about takes the biscuit in terms of sheer lunacy. It did remind me of a certain Diego Maradona though. During the 1982 World Cup finals in Spain, Diego also displayed the kind of temper that you're becoming infamous for.
Do you remember that?
Maradona was 21 at the time and Brazil had kicked him from pillar to post. In the 85th minute, he basically snapped and decided to separate Joao Batista da Silva's 'crown jewels' from the rest of his body.
I was in Gelsenkirchen in July 2006 when you also performed the same kind of operation on Portugal's Ricardo Carvalho.
That one I sort of understood. I knew you were frustrated about coming into the World Cup short of match fitness. The metatarsal injury you sustained ironically against another Portuguese, Paulo Ferreira, had robbed you of crucial preparation time.
England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson didn't help you either by asking you to run the frontline on your own.
Still, it was disappointing to witness you losing control on the biggest stage of them all but I kind of figured that if it could happen to Diego, well, it could happen to anyone, so I made up an excuse in my head.
I said you were young and still learning. I said that the pressure of coming back too soon from injury was making you try too hard. I said that running around basically on your own against Portugal for 60 minutes had mentally fried you. I said that your club mate Cristiano Ronaldo had conned the referee. In fact I tried to deflect any blame that was being directed at you away from you.
I did this Wayne, because without you, the England football team is all but worthless.
When you came back from Germany, you said that you'd work on your temper and to be fair, to a certain degree you have. Only once have you been ejected from a match (although you do average over 10 yellow cards per season) and that was against Fulham for dissent, although I have noticed that the red mist that surrounds you is once again just simmering to close to the surface.
Rooney is consoled by England skipper John Terry. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
It began to show itself last year when once again you weren't physically or mentally 100%.
In South Africa, the anger was visible for all to see. It was there again last November when you were having your own off the pitch troubles with the missus. Now don't get me wrong Wayne, when my ball and chain (wife) is giving me grief it also affects my work, so I can only imagine what Colleen was saying to you after your missteps.
The thing is that you need an escape valve and I think that the escape valve needs to come away from the football pitch. Listen, I've seen you play angry and sometimes it does give you that extra edge to take your game to astonishing levels of intensity but when you take your off field problems onto the pitch, disaster isn't that far away.
Coming into Friday's crucial Euro 2012 qualifier, I know you said that you're dad getting arrested for an alleged gambling scam wasn't going to bother you but obviously you were wrong. It really seems as though you have not learned the lessons of Gelsenkirchen.
Emotions can only be hidden for so long, it's human nature. You tried to hide yours and you succeeded for 73 minutes but then the fuse blew. Now you're going to possibly be suspended for some of the finals next summer.
The suspension isn't the thing that bothers me though Wayne, it's the way that you can't control yourself when provoked by internal and external forces.
You know in 2006 when I defended you, I noted that four years after Maradona had seen red in Spain, he came back to lead his country, Argentina, to the summit of the mountain in Mexico by almost single-handedly winning the World Cup for his country. I was hoping that history would repeat itself in the form of you leading England to a major title for the first time since 1966.
On the evidence of Friday night, it looks like that wait will continue!
Look Wayne, I've never doubted your talent even when you've gone through some tough spells but if I could offer two small pieces of advice.
One, try some anger management classes and two find a release away from football that allows you to blow off some of that volcanic steam.
See you in Poland & Ukraine.