By Joe Vaughan-Birch
WAYNE ROONEY’S foul-mouthed outburst at a referee on Monday has re-ignited speculation over whether his temper could harm England’s chances at the World Cup.
After England’s 3-0 victory over Platinum Stars, Rooney was told by referee Jeff Selogilwe that if he behaved like that during the World Cup he would be sent off,
Manchester United team-mate Rio Ferdinand has suggested that Rooney’s rage is necessary to his game, but anger-management specialist Nick Kemp believes he would be the same player without it.
He said: “There’s no reason why he couldn’t perform without that passion. But you can perform with passion without kicking lumps out of people.
“It’s very treatable and in most cases is specific to certain triggers. Most people know the exact circumstances that trigger it. It’s just learning to react in a different way.”
Rooney has a reputation as being calm off the pitch, known as being more of a joker than a man prone to outbursts.
However, Mr Kemp says that peoples’ fits of anger are very much dependent on the environment around them.
He said: “I know people who can be extremely angry at work, but who are extremely calm at home. People have different thresholds.”
Mr Kemp also believes that it would not be asking too much for Rooney not to flare-up, and that he could find ways to cope better relatively easily.
“When you consider that he earns in a week what we earn in a year, it’s not asking too much,” he said.
James Goode, manager of the Nike store in Manchester, thinks that it is a necessary ingredient.
He said: “Without his passion he’d be half the player. It’s like that volley against Newcastle. He was still having a go at the ref after it’d gone in. “
In terms of his responsibilities as an internationally recognised figure, Mr Goode stresses Rooney is not a spiteful or malevolent player.
He said: “We’re happy to have him wearing our stuff because he’s a role model. Even if he lets his feelings known, he’s not malicious.”
The debate will continue as the world cup approaches, with opinions split over whether it is his anger or passion that drives England forward.