Capello won't curb Rooney

England striker needs an edge to his game

Fabio Capello insists that Wayne Rooney would be a lesser player if he were to lose his competitive edge.

The England boss saw his talented young striker threaten to lose his cool during a frustrating evening against USA on Wednesday.

Having struggled to make an impact on the game at Wembley, the Manchester United star was fortunate not to receive his marching orders following two badly mistimed tackles.

He was later replaced for his own benefit, but Capello is adamant that he will not be asking his star striker to curb his enthusiasm in the future.


"When a player performs without commitment he is not the same" said Capello. "You have to be hard and tough.

"He did two hard tackles against USA and they were possibly yellow cards but not red. He didn't deserve to be sent off. It is normal. He did one strong tackle and in my opinion it was not a problem."

Smiling broadly, he added: "Of course, I have to make sure he stays on the pitch and I will speak to him. I will explain that he must be careful.

"He is exactly the same in training, committed and tackling hard. Before the game in training it was a worry for the others. He does this all the time!

"I like this desire in my players. I want them to have quality but also to have no fear. To have a mental strength and desire is so important. In my career I have had defenders like this but rarely forwards. I like what I see in him.


"Raul was like this and the nearest player I have known to Rooney. He was young when I worked with him for the first time but he was hungry and smelt the goal. He was also generous to the team.

"You always speak to players like this but he is young. The future will be even better."

The Italian coach has always favoured players who display a strong will to win and he is unlikely to turn his back on a precautious talent who he later described as "good, good, good."