Defoe: Rooney's short fuse is what makes him so explosive
Published 22:26 03/03/12 By Anthony Clavane
Wayne Rooney’s craziness can help Manchester United lift the title – according to Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe.
And Defoe, who goes head to head with his England team-mate at White Hart Lane today, thinks Rooney will emulate Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes by staying at Old Trafford until his late 30s.
The United talisman is known for having a short fuse – but the Spurs star is convinced his ability will be a deciding factor in the title race.
“People say top players, or talented people, always seem to be a little crazy,” said Defoe. “But if you look at life in general, people who have got that gift are a little bit crazy and they live on the edge for some reason.
“It’s important for Wayne to have that fire. I think you need that fire to achieve anything.”
With 17 goals in 22 games, former Everton striker Rooney is on track for one of his best ever seasons in front of goal – and Defoe believes he can defy the ageing process like Giggs and Scholes have.
Defoe said: “I’m sure he’s looking at players like Giggsy. He’s around him every day and I’m sure he’s thinking ‘I’ll do whatever he’s doing’. Because I would do that.
“If I was at Man United. I would be looking at players like that. You can learn from them because they’ve been there and done it and played so many games. Because whatever they’re doing, it’s working.”
Although Defoe reckons United will pip Manchester City in the Premier League he hasn’t given up yet on Spurs winning the title.
“We can still do it, but it’s going to be hard,” said Jermain, talking at the launch of EA Sports’ SSX.
“It’s hard to look past Man United though. All credit to the United medical staff, whatever they’re doing. Giggsy and Scholesy are true professionals.
“I remember when I first got into the England squad, just being around the Man United boys was unbelievable.
“Even if they lost games in training they were still talking about it in the evening at dinner. They’ve just got that winning mentality.
“People see Man United, they have done it over the years they know how to do it. They have done it so many times. They keep getting late winning goals – for some reason they just know how to do it they have that mentality.
“Obviously City have got the squad.
“We’ve got a strong squad too, one of the best squads in the league in my opinion, but we’ve just got to keep working hard and see what happens from now until the end of the season.”
Defoe hopes to be in the Euro 2012 squad this summer – and wants his club team-mate Scott Parker to be kept as England skipper by whoever replaces eventually Fabio Capello as boss.
”Obviously Scott’s my team-mate and he has been fantastic since he has come to us,” said Defoe.
“I’ve known Scotty since I was at Charlton when I was Under 11 and at Lilleshall.
“I’ve known Scotty for years and he’s a true professional.
“He has never changed.
“He is just a winner and if he has something to say at half-time he’ll say it. He’ll say it to the boys and he’s good with the younger lads around the club. He’s the right man for the job of England captain.
“Sometimes he comes in to the dressing room at the end of a game and he looks like he has been in a fight.
“I’m like, ‘Scotty, man, what have you been doing?’
“His hair’s all wet, he’s got blood everywhere.
“But that’s just Scotty.
“He’s the same in training. He always wants to win. He’s just a proper captain.”