Despite being England's icon, Wayne Rooney's red card against Montenegro could come at a heavy price for him as England manager Fabio Capello revealed the player would face a fight to win back his starting spot.
After the game, Capello was robust in his defence of the player, whose mind-frame ahead of the match was in question following the arrest of his father after allegations of involvement in a betting scam. The Italian admitted that Rooney, widely-recognised as England's best player, was a surety in the squad for the tournament, barring injury, but would face competition for the starting berth if a system without him works to England's benefit.
''I need to find the solution for the first game, or two games, that Rooney will not play,'' said Capello. ''And if we find that solution, he needs to work to return to the first 11.
''You know me. Sometimes I make mistakes but I try to select the best players, in the best moment of form. There were two I did not select for this game who are doing really well. I saw the game that (Jermain) Defoe played against Arsenal. He did really well. He ran a lot and pressed a lot. Daniel Sturridge is the same.''
The red card means Rooney will miss out on most of the build-up to the tournament, including a starting spot in the friendly against World champions Spain next month.
''Rooney will not play against Spain. I want to test new players, a new style and different movement,'' added Capello. ''Sometimes he will come on at half-time. But not from the start. He will not start. We need to prepare the first XI who will start in the Euros.
''I have got a lot of forwards at this moment, really good forwards, and I need to find the best solution. In my life as a manager I have put on the bench a lot of players. I always decided who was the best player at that moment.''
Before the squad for the Finals are to be named, England are likely to play three matches, giving Capello the chance to come to his conclusions.
''We've got something good,'' he said. ''And don't forget, we have some very good, important players, who are injured or not on top form. (Jack) Wilshere is an important player. Steven Gerrard is another. Now we have (Gary) Cahill and (Phil) Jones. (Kyle) Walker, (Micah) Richards too. And Danny Welbeck is potentially a really good player.''
On Thursday, UEFA's Disciplinary and Control Body will analyse whether Rooney is guilty of violent conduct and decide whether to ban him for an additional two games.