Rooney can't turn spotlight on and off when it suits him - Keegan
Published 27/09/2010 | 05:00
Kevin Keegan believes that Wayne Rooney's confidence is "shot" but says that the striker can't expect to court the media for publicity and endorsements without attracting attention.
Rooney, recently subject to lurid allegations about his private life, produced another insipid display against Bolton yesterday before limping off with half an hour remaining.
The Manchester United man is expected to be be fit for Champions League duty in Valencia on Wednesday despite aggravating an ankle injury, but he had made little impression during an hour on the pitch at the Reebok and has still to score from open play this season.
He has scored one penalty, against West Ham United, in five appearances for United so far.
Afterwards Keegan, perhaps England's first celebrity footballer, warned Rooney that he cannot use media intrusion as an excuse for his continued poor form.
"You can't have all the contracts, you can't sell your wedding to magazines and things like that and then suddenly say, 'That's a tap I want to turn on but I want to turn the other one off'," said Keegan, whose advertisements for Brut in the 1970s paved the way for product endorsements by footballers.
Keegan, analysing a game for ESPN, said: "I know from when I played that if you are advertising boots and all the other stuff, you have to go and make appearances. You are going to appear in the paper.
"The one thing I would say is keep your home and family out of it. If you don't, you can't then turn around and say there are too many paparazzi around or there is too much publicity. One minute you are courting it, the next minute you are saying, 'I don't want this'."
Keegan also thought the player badly out of touch: "Last year, you would fancy him to put some of his chances into the net. His performance tells me his confidence is shot."
The Bolton manager, Owen Coyle, called for the media to "lay off" the striker.
"I don't think what the lad is going through is helping him or his country in the long term," he said. "Let the boy go and flourish." (© Independent News Service)