Rooney backed to stay cool
Frank Lampard has warned the United States they would be wasting their time trying to antagonise Manchester United's Wayne Rooney next Saturday. The USA are England's first World Cup opponents and former defender Lalas, who played in the 1994 tournament, has suggested his country's best chance of success lies in getting under Rooney's skin. In his younger days, the Reds striker had a notoriously short fuse and famously got himself sent off in the quarter-final four years ago for what even he admitted looked like a stamp on Ricardo Carvalho. Rooney is far more in control these days, even if there are occasional flashes of temper, such as the one which surfaced against Japan last Sunday that could have landed him in trouble. Lalas believes it is an area of weakness the USA should exploit but Lampard has told them not to bother. "I don't know about winding up Wayne Rooney," he said. "Everyone has seen his maturity as a player and a person over the years. I don't think there is any issue about trying to wind him up." Part of that maturity stems from the knowledge indiscretions can prove fatal at such intense times. "Discipline is important at any level of football," said Lampard. "You have to understand the importance of having 11 men because when you are at the top end, the small details and small changes mean everything. "If you get a red card it's a bit stupid and it can affect the team. "Referees are looking at these kind of incidents because the world is watching. "The manager has always spoken about making sure you don't lose your head. "Everyone wants to be aggressive in the tackle but you don't want to overstep the mark and put the team in jeopardy." Do you think Rooney has matured? Have your say.
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