Rooney influenced by honesty of Keane’s captaincy approach

Wayne Rooney’s short time playing alongside Roy Keane has had a significant influence on the way he captains England and Manchester United.

Rooney influenced by honesty of Keane’s captaincy approach

Plenty of column inches this week have been dedicated to extracts from the former Ireland midfielder’s explosive new autobiography.

Much like during his playing days, Keane did not hold back and has taken aim at a variety of people in his book.

One person to have seemingly escaped his wrath, though, is Rooney, who played alongside the Irishman for less than 15 months at Old Trafford.

It may not have been the greatest period of Keane’s United career, but he made a lasting impression on the then-teenager.

“I thought Roy was great,” Rooney, now skipper of England and United, said at a press conference previewing tonight’s Euro 2016 qualifier against San Marino

“He was hard when he needed to be and, you know, he was a nice fella as well.

“He would speak to you and he wouldn’t give anyone any special treatment.

“Whether you were an older player or younger player, he would let you know what he wants from you, which I feel is the best way — to be honest with people and make sure they are aware what the demands are. For me, he was a great captain.”

Rooney was not willing to speak about Keane’s autobiography itself and joked there was not so much fuss about his books as they were not quite as “controversial as Roy’s”.

Still, the forward was happy enough to talk about Keane the player — one which few are like in the modern game.

“It’s difficult to play the way he played, so fierce,” Rooney said.

“The battles he had with (Patrick) Vieira.

“Nowadays it is difficult to get those tackles, given they’re pulled up all the time. The thing that surprised me with Roy was his passing into a forward’s feet. He was the best I’ve ever played with getting the ball into the forwards.”

Meanwhile, England manager Roy Hodgson has apologised to Rooney for the fuss caused by his throwaway remark about the Liverpool accent.

Speaking last week, the England boss said his captain would not be able to lecture a room full of people because of his “Liverpool accent”.

Yesterday Hodgson said: “I have to be very careful when talking about accents and the way people speak.”

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