McClaren: You can't tame Rooney
Published 07/04/2011 | 14:43
Steve McClaren has recalled his own time at Manchester United as proof there is no point even trying to tame Wayne Rooney.
The England forward discovered this morning that he must serve a two-match domestic suspension following his four-letter outburst at West Ham on Saturday.
It means Rooney will miss Saturday's Barclays Premier League encounter with Fulham at Old Trafford, plus the following weekend's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City on April 16.
It leaves Sir Alex Ferguson with a major selection headache for the derby clash in particular and proves the folly of Rooney's wholly unnecessary actions.
However, McClaren, who worked with Rooney during his time as assistant to Sven-Goran Eriksson, then after he had succeeded the Swede as England boss, feels there is little point trying to mend the 25-year-old's ways.
In recognising that in addition to the problems, Rooney has also scored a hat-trick to put United in pole position in the Premier League title race, and grabbed a priceless goal at Stamford Bridge, McClaren feels that sometimes it is better to accept the flaws than try to iron them out.
"Every player has his upsides and his downsides. Wayne Rooney is no exception," McClaren told talkSPORT.
"No one is more of a disciplinarian than Ferguson. He has taken Wayne Rooney over the last four, five years and developed him from a young player who was totally out of control into one who is growing and maturing into a great footballer. Occasionally you are going to get things where he steps over the mark.
"He is competitive, he is aggressive and he is a winner. You can't take that away from him.
"I remember once trying to do that with Roy Keane. I said 'Look, you are missing five or six games through suspension every season, calm down a little'.
"He did for six months and it was hopeless. [We said] 'Get back to normal, we'll miss you for five or six games'.
"We accepted hat because we know in the others he would win the games.
"It's similar with Wayne Rooney. You've got to accept the rough with the smooth."
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is disappointed Rooney will sit out the FA Cup semi-final.
The Italian believes it is better if top players are available, especially in big games.
He said: "I am disappointed because when we play a game like this it is important all the best players play.
"Should the FA punish players in this way? I do not know. I think the managers and players here have a lot of respect for the referee and the FA."