Beckham will play minder for fiery Rooney

Gamelan - Online

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LONDON (AFP) – David Beckham is ready to act as Wayne Rooney's minder to keep the fiery England forward out of trouble.

England coach Fabio Capello called Rooney a "crazy man" following the Manchester United star's petulant red card for throwing the ball at the referee against Fulham last weekend.

Capello's joke hid concern that a lack of individual discipline could damage England's hopes of a successful World Cup campaign in South Africa next year.

Rooney has often struggled to control his temper with England and was sent off for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho in the 2006 quarter-final defeat against Portugal. He was also substituted by Sven Goran Eriksson after losing his rag in a friendly against Spain in 2004.

Beckham knows from personal experience how the red mist can descend quickly on the pitch following his costly red card for kicking Diego Simeone in the 2002 World Cup defeat to Argentina.

The on-loan AC Milan midfielder is a more mature figure now but he knows it is essential that Rooney retains his fire or he will become a less dynamic player.

Beckham believes it is impossible to completely tame Rooney but he is keen to keep an eye on Rooney so he can avoid the kind of explosions that could lead to more disciplinary problems.

"If you take that side of him out of his game he becomes a different player and a different animal," Beckham said.

"There's no way you want to take that out of him. He knows it's not right.

"It's happened a few times with myself. I probably still haven't been able to control it fully. When things go badly, the team's losing and it's not going well, that frustration comes out.

"I was frustrated in the Spain game and got a yellow card for talking back to the ref. You try to control it, but sometimes you can't.

"As an experienced player you tend to notice those things more when you are a bit older. You see players' reactions and see what can happen next.

"I've seen it with some of the best players in the world. Look at (Zinedine) Zidane, you could see it in his eyes sometimes in games.

"You know what's going to happen. It's all about the passion, which is the biggest thing. You don't want to take that out of him. You can try to get to him in time as a team-mate, but some things are uncontrollable."

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