Players should expect interest

Keegan: Rooney and co must accept price of fame

September 26, 2010
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Former England boss Kevin Keegan believes Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney and his current crop of fellow professionals cannot claim to be victims of invasions of privacy and should expect to be courted by the press.

Wayne Rooney substitution Man United v Bolton
PA PhotosWayne Rooney: Contract expires in 2012

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Rooney has hit the headlines in recent weeks because of allegations about his private life, and his United form has appeared to suffer, with the striker managing to find the net just once in five games this season, having netted 33 in all competitions in 2009-10.

And having watched Rooney fail to score again in United's 2-2 draw at Bolton on Sunday, ESPN analyst Keegan, who enjoyed a distinguished playing career with Liverpool and Hamburg, said that players should be able to deal with media interest in their private lives.

"You can't have all the contracts, you can't sell your wedding to magazines and things like this and suddenly say, 'That's the tap I want to turn on, but we want to turn the other one off'," Keegan said on ESPN.

"But it's just one tap and I know from when I played that, if you are advertising boots and all these things, you have to go and make appearances. You are going to appear in the paper.

"But the one thing I would say is keep your home and your family out of it and just take your endorsements if that's what you want to do.

"You can't then turn around and say there's too much paparazzi around or there is too much publicity. One minute you are courting it, the next minute you're saying 'I don't want this.'

Keegan thinks an out of sorts Rooney is in dire need of a confidence boost and believes the striker's return to form is crucial for United's chances of winning silverware this season.

"Last year, you'd fancy him to put some these chances into the net." Keegan said. "His performance at Bolton tells me his confidence is shot. For United to get back to where they should be and winning at places like Bolton, they need to be getting Wayne Rooney firing on all cylinders."