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The Rooney Files: Quotes about Wayne Rooney.

"He gives us something else to think about. He's a young player with remarkable physical and creative power. He has belief and determination and the physical ability to achieve what he sets out to do."
Arsene Wenger

"I spoke to Wayne after the Wales match and he was very happy. He felt he could run everywhere and that he could float free. He's such a good player but I'm not sure that will be his position in every game. Wayne is not a player for chasing over the top. He likes to touch the ball and play people in and shoot from long range. The balance is very good with Wayne who likes to play in behind. I can drop off and develop the game but I get excited when I'm playing furthest forward. That's when I feel I can do the most damage. Wayne is the opposite. He prefers to drop and link up play, getting touches and strikes at goal and setting goals up. We dovetail quite well and I'm excited about playing with him for England. But I don't think if we were playing Italy or Germany away we'd have three up."
Michael Owen

"I have always said that Wayne Rooney is an amazing player, the kind of striker which any team in the world would like to have. He has the sort of forward's instinct which you cannot buy and no coach can teach. You are born with it. Of course you also need good team-mates around you to give you the ball and help set up chances. And Rooney has those players at Manchester United. But I like the sort of striker who will score all on his own if he wants to, and Rooney showed again the other night that he is capable of doing that. He can shoot from distance, get on the end of crosses, hit free-kicks - anything. He's not the same type of finisher as Michael Owen or Ruud van Nistelrooy but he is definitely the sort of player I would pay to watch. He is someone who plays with absolutely no fear and when you have a striker like that then there are no limits. English football is very fortunate to have such a great striker."
Thierry Henry

"Rooney can do the lot. He will eventually have all the United goalscoring records. I don't even see why he can't overtake my 46 in a season."
Denis Law

"I was hoping Manchester United were going to keep him under wraps for a couple more weeks! Now we have to face him - and he looks in fantastic form. I thought he was sensational against Fenerbahce.
Every time he got the ball you could sense the anticipation and buzz amongst the crowd. When you get an Old Trafford crowd on the end of their seats and excited, you know you have won them over. I didn't doubt he would have an impact but not quite as great as that. The manner of his goals was quite emphatic. He has great power and accuracy with his shots.
I was there when Ryan (Giggs) made a similar impact. Rooney, like Ryan, just takes your breath away when he plays. Ryan is still doing it now. That's because he has had the right people around him like Alex Ferguson. It does make it harder when a player can drop deep like that and look equally comfortable. But what he does best is turn and run at pace towards the opponents' box and all defenders will hate that.
Wayne's debut has coincided with United getting their big players back. They look very strong and they are going to get stronger. I can see them embarking on a good run now as they always do."
Mark Hughes

Rooney could be another George Best, I have no doubt.
England is in need of a big, big star and he has what you need from that player - he comes from Liverpool, he is working-class and he has exceptional talent. But football is a high-level sport and you must live the life of a monk. You have a ritual - you go training, you sleep, you prepare. There is only one thing to be answered - how much do you love to play the game?
If you have that love then you can easily sacrifice the rest. But it doesn't matter what contacts you have, all managers can only help those who want to be successful. If he doesn't want to live seriously and wants to drink, he can do it at home and arrange things at home. However, I feel that Rooney has a real love for the game.
Would I like to work with Wayne Rooney?
Who wouldn't want to work with him. We all like to work with exceptional talent.

Arsene Wenger

I can remember my full debut, although it seems so long ago. If I could give Wayne one piece of advice it would be to make sure he just enjoys his football. The reason I'm still playing now at 30 is I still look forward to games. I still get a buzz from going out there and playing in the big games. I don't think you will find a better debut than that. It was not just his goals but his all-round performance. To score a hat-trick in your first match for Manchester United is a very special feat but Wayne's display was even more unbelievable because of the circumstances. He's 18, it was his first taste of the Champions League and he hadn't played for three months. It's the sort of start you normally only dream of. His performance was outstanding but it was his sharpness that impressed me most. The first game back after a long injury lay-off is normally hard work but he made it look embarrassingly easy. I was shocked that he was able to complete the whole 90 minutes.
The quality of his performance has to rank as nothing short of brilliant. He won't have any problems because he has already been in the spotlight for a couple of years and handled it well. The manager will see it as his responsibility to make sure that in 10 years' time Wayne is still playing like this and has fulfilled his potential. When I first came into the team I think he was quoted as saying he didn't want me to be burnt out at 26 or 27. Instead, he wanted me to be approaching my best years. I think that's what I've done - I've got better as a player and a lot of that is to do with the way the manager handled me when I was 17 and 18. He used to rest me in certain games, as well as shield me from the Press and just let me get on with my life as a young lad. Wayne hasn't asked me for any advice yet but when you're young it's not always easy to ask the older players for tips. I used to watch how Mark Hughes and Eric Cantona conducted themselves on and off the pitch and learn from them. I'm sure Wayne will learn a lot from the rest of the players in the dressing room.
Ryan Giggs

For our first game together it was excellent. We take it from here and, hopefully, we can do even better. Wayne's 18 and knows all eyes are on him but goes out and does his own thing.
That is fantastic. He's fearless.
It is his debut in the Champions League at Old Trafford and he scored a hat-trick, need I say more?

Ruud van Nistelrooy

I don't think any of us have seen anything like that from an 18-year-old before - it was quite breathtaking. Wayne is just an incredible talent. What amazes you about him is he just looks like he is going for a kickabout in the park. I'm just glad he's English.
Steve Bruce

Rooney has the same bullish look as Gazza when he came through. He runs at players in the same way. He has great control and a great shot with both feet and he scares defenders. He showed that in Euro 2004 and he'll do that in the Premiership and Champions League. To score a hat-trick on his debut is special. I don't know about letting him take free-kicks for England though! He might get one or two - we'll have to wait and see. Everybody knows about the problems I had with the manager but for many, many years he looked after me. He's done the same for many youngsters and is well respected for that. He needs looking after and there is no better club for that than Manchester United.
David Beckham

You look at that performance (against Fenerbahce) and you have to say that's as good as anything you've ever seen. I've been saying that for two years and he's getting better and better. He's got to maintain that level of performance but there's no reason why he shouldn't. He's got everything going for him, he's looking the complete player at 18 years of age. He can handle himself, he has two good feet, he's good in the air, he's got it all.
You go through all the greats at Manchester United and you've certainly got to put him in there. The fact that he's playing for Manchester United means he's going to get hounded 24 hours a day. But he's got the top man looking after him in Sir Alex Ferguson and he's been through it before with people like Ryan Giggs and Eric Cantona. It is something Rooney is going to have to learn how to handle and it is not easy. His main objective away from football will be to keep off the front pages.
George Best

Rooney could become one of the best strikers England have produced - even more so than Gary Lineker and Michael Owen. Rooney's performances were excellent in Euro 2004.
Christoph Daum

Straight away you can tell what a good player Wayne is. He is strong, has a quick turn and a sharpness about him. You have to look for him all the time because he can cause problems from anywhere.
Wes Brown

The fans are going to expect a lot from me, as they should. I just want to get into the team and show them what I can do - and, hopefully, bring the title back here this season.
I'm just so happy to be a United player.
I've changed a lot as a person on the field and off the field. I'm much more mature than I was 12 months ago. Hopefully, I will do my job well for United. I had been upstairs at Old Trafford waiting to sign my contract and I could see the fans waiting outside. When I went out, it was really noisy and they were all singing my name. It was brilliant to get such a great reception. He (Scholes) is a great player and, if we can link up well this season, we could be unstoppable. We've got some good young players and, providing we can all grow together, we will come good again. I think we're capable of matching Arsenal and Chelsea. I'm an attacking player and I like to run at defenders. So I'm comfortable playing either behind two forwards or one forward.

Wayne Rooney

If Wayne plays like he did at Euro 2004, you would have to say he is world-class, No 1. Absolutely the best. No manager in the world would say no to having him in their squad and I'm sure he'll have a fantastic career. He showed in Portugal what an absolutely fantastic talent he is - but he is still only 18 and I'm sure he will be much better in the future. I was asked what makes Wayne so good and I said it is the fact he is so very cold. I have never seen him nervous or worried about anything. I had Roberto Baggio at Fiorentina when he was 18 and he was always very confident. But Wayne is even more cool about his own skill. I realised that the first time he started a game in the European Championship qualifier at home to Turkey. I told him on the morning of the game he would be starting. Anyone else would have been scared. But not him - he just said 'OK'. That was it. That is why I think he is a guy who will always keep his feet on the ground. But give him a ball and things will happen. I am sorry for Wayne and for England that he is not available (for the World Cup qualifier in Austria) because we don't have another Rooney.
Sven-Goran Eriksson

To see a lad of his age doing what he can do is unbelievable. When he's fit again he'll come back and score a lot of goals this season. He'll be a lot more confident after the way things went for him in Portugal. He's going to be a legend for England.
Paul Scholes

It is tough for me to talk about players from other clubs but my only piece of advice to Wayne would be to say that at 18 he's too young to go abroad. I left England at 27. I had played 40 or 50 times for England, won championships here and gained massive experience in Europe playing with Liverpool - and I still found it tough. I would tell him he should sign with Everton or with another English club. Other players have proved that to be the case where they've gone early in their careers, like Paul Gascoigne. It doesn't work and they miss too many things. They cannot have all the things around them they need when they are young. When you're 27, you are a man. You get on with it and put up with the language problems. You learn and you're a bit more streetwise. You're bound to be because you've got that nine, 10 years' experience behind you. You couldn't blame him if someone like Real Madrid came along and said 'would you like to come and play with Zidane every week?' You've got to look at it this way. You try to be fair and sensible - but football is not always that and sensible things don't always happen.

It was when Walter Smith was manager. I sat and watched this young kid called Wayne Rooney destroy our Youth Cup side almost single-handed. Don't get me wrong, Everton had other good players - but he was the catalyst for it all. Everton at that time were struggling to score goals and I just said to Walter, 'If it was my club I think I would put him in the first team straight away'. He was that good. And Walter replied, 'Well I can't do that because he's still at school'. So it's no surprise to anybody he has come through and done well.
Kevin Keegan

I know the family and Wayne's been brought up in the right way. He's handled being the centre of attention for years and he'll handle the superstar bit as well. When he went off against Portugal, England ceased to function. That's a tremendous accolade for a kid. He's got a maturity beyond his years. He's got so much ability and nothing seems to faze him.
Peter Reid

I am still only 18 and have scored a handful of goals for England. And I am certainly not calling myself Pele that's for sure! It was flattering to hear people saying that but I don't go along with it, especially when you consider everything Pele did. I do not see myself as a national hero, whatever anyone has been saying and writing about me. I know who the main players are in the England set-up and I am not there with them just yet. Just look at players like Michael Owen. His record at international level is frightening. Obviously, I am delighted with how things have gone so far - apart from my broken foot - but my aim is to still be up there in five or 10 years. If you believe all the things written about you when you're doing well you have to look at them when you are not having the same success. You only need one bad game and things change and that can knock your confidence if you let it. It can all become too much if you let yourself get carried away by it.
Wayne Rooney

For a start one is white, the other is black.
Rooney is an excellent player but Pele is unique and there will be no one like him in 1,000 years - not even in a computer game.
Luis Felipe Scolari

I do not like the comparisons. Rooney is a youngster with immense talent who could turn out to be one of the best players in Europe or the world - but no one can compare him to Pele. We must have great respect for my great friend Pele. I can say we are like brothers. Pele is Pele and there is only one in the world like him. Rooney has plenty of time to become great and I advise him to keep his feet on the ground and to work hard to become a great player. There should not be comparisons like this. There should be more respect.
Luis Felipe Scolari

If I was in club management, the first thing I'd have done this morning is find out the telephone number of his agent. He is one of the biggest talents in the game, he is not just a goalscorer but a real all-round footballer. I'm sure the queue for his services is getting longer by the minute. I can't say I know him very well because he doesn't talk all that much. But he doesn't need to - he just goes out and does it. Against France and Switzerland he was like a boy out on the school pitch. He was saying 'give me the ball and let me enjoy myself.' He was the man of the day in England and all over Europe as well.
Sven Goran Eriksson

I like to play with a little bit of temper. I think it makes my game better. I'm not going to change my approach just because it's a major international tournament - I'm going to carry on doing what I do best. I wasn't fazed by the booking because the ball was there to be won and I went in for a 50-50 challenge with the keeper. I admit I was a bit late and a few of the lads told me to calm down after the yellow card but I'm always going to go in for a tackle. What do people want me to do? They must know I am never going to give 90 per cent and not go in for certain challenges. I will always give it everything I've got. The players are a lot more clever at international level and I've got to try to be just as clever. People say that nothing fazes me but I'm only a young lad and I promise you I get nervous before a game like anybody else. Everything I've done in my career has made the newspapers but my only concern is enjoying myself and getting a good experience from this tournament. Once the game starts you get a bit more relaxed and you just want to go out and do your best.
Wayne Rooney

I could go on all day about Wayne because he's a big, big talent. He's come to Euro 2004 and is running defences ragged. I'm just glad he's English. Wayne's already proved in this tournament that he's going to be a massively-important player in the future. Wayne's only 18 and if he looks after himself off the pitch the world is his oyster. He goes out there as if he is going for a knock-about with his mates down the park. He's very relaxed in his approach to big games and plays as if he's got nothing to lose. There's a lot of experienced players around to do all his worrying for him. He's produced two massive performances and we need another from him against Croatia on Monday. Wayne's doing great and, like every Englishman, I hope he keeps firing in the goals throughout the tournament.
Steven Gerrard

Maybe it's our job to try to calm him down but then that's Wayne being Wayne I don't think you can take that out of him. He's still very young and there will be times when the more senior players will tell him to calm down. But the minute you take that spirit out of his game you will lose a big part of what he gives the team. His aggression is one of his big strengths. You have to control it but I'm sure he'll learn to do that more and more as he goes on. Wayne has been fantastic. I really can't say enough about him. He was great against France and he scored his first goals of the tournament against the Swiss. There's no fear about him at all and he has become a big weapon for us. His character is pretty unique. He knows he has the ability but he has this knack of being able to go out there and not be scared of anyone no matter who he is up against. That is amazing for an 18-year-old so I think we are dealing with a pretty special player. It's nice to go into these games knowing you have a player like that. Michael Owen is already a proven world class scorer and now we have another one.
Frank Lampard

It's a privilege to be out here with Wayne. Sometimes I look at him and can't believe he's only 18. At the moment he's carrying England on his shoulders. I just hope the booking he picked up against Switzerland doesn't hurt us. It would be a disaster if he got suspended. If you're talking about England's great No 9s then Alan Shearer is up there. But Wayne has all the qualities to become one of the best ever. He creates as many chances as he takes and though he's a predator, he can also drop deeper and lay the ball off.
Kieron Dyer

I know from personal experience that he's an absolute nightmare to mark. All of Europe is now aware of him and I'd love to get him to Chelsea next season. I've not got the money to buy him but I think there are others connected with Chelsea who may be able to raise the cash!
John Terry

I coached both Italy's Roberto Baggio and Portugal's Rui Costa at the same age and Rooney is even better. Here, we have a player who is not just ready but mature at an exceptionally early age. Players of 18 normally need to be talked to in training and coached through games. They make mistakes and need to be protected from the media. But Rooney needs no protection. He has no nerves and already acts like a senior player. It is fantastic. Everyone loves the way Wayne Rooney is.
Sven Goran Eriksson

When you're pinning your hopes on an 18-year-old, it sounds a bit desperate. But the way Wayne has played in the first two games has been awesome.
He has wonderful natural talent and is fearless but he must watch his temperament.

Gary Lineker

Wayne can go on to achieve unbelievable things - he's got so much talent.
There were some things I knew I could get away with. Unfortunately, it all creeps up on you if you're not too careful.
Paul Gascoigne

People are talking about Rooneymania and because of all the media, fan and business interest, I suppose we have created a monster. But what we have got to do now is create another one. We have to keep working to make sure another lad comes through just like Wayne. We started hearing a lot about this lad - even when he was an under-nine player. The first time I realised just how special he could be was when I took an under-11 team to play over at Manchester United's training ground. It was eight-a-side on small pitches with small goals. All the parents were on one side of the pitch with the coaches on the other. And, at 11 years of age, Wayne managed to score an overhead kick from about 10 to 15 yards out that flew straight into the top corner. There was a silence around the ground. I don't know where it came from but someone started clapping and within seconds everyone was clapping - including the parents from the other team. Every challenge he has been faced with he has met and raised the bar. Nothing fazes him and he seems quite at ease with the England players, even though he is the youngest. He has always played over his own age. When he was under-16 he was in the under-19 side and then at 16 he was in the first team. He is no different from the kid at school who is a gifted mathematician and is moved up classes to be with the older kids. Rooneymania is everywhere and everyone wants a little piece of him. My personal view is that there will be thousands of people who will shed tears if he ever leaves Everton. He is part of our Everton family and every Evertonian has special feelings for Wayne because of the lad he is and what he does on the pitch. I can't say what will happen to Wayne from now on but I can say that he is in good hands.
Ray Hall

Wayne showed a lot of maturity out there and that was great to see. There was a spell in the first half when he was getting kicked up in the air from behind. So a few of the older players pulled him aside after he had scored the first and told him, 'That's the way to show your frustration. Take it out on them by scoring goals'. That's what he did. He's 18 and sometimes when you pick up a booking you can either drift out of the game or you can fight back. He chose to fight back. Wayne is now the youngest ever scorer in the championships and he deserves it because he worked hard tonight and played well just as he did against the French. He was one of those players who showed a lot of maturity out there.
David Beckham

Wind the young lad up and you are playing against 10 men. There is no doubt Wayne can achieve whatever he wants because his ability is fantastic. But he has an aggression about him that goes over the top at times and that could come back to haunt him. Hey, don't get me wrong, I'm no shrinking violet myself. It is good to have a striker who can bully defenders. But swinging an arm at someone as he did against Japan is no good. Sven will know that, the French, Swiss, Croatians and anybody else we might meet will have taken note of that. People will be out to wind him up and he has to be careful. But you never know, what he did against Japan might be the making of him because you can be sure plenty of people will hammer it home to him there is no way he can afford that in this tournament.
Alan Shearer

I like the way he plays and I've said that to all my French team-mates. He can play with the pressure. I was asked to take a penalty against Italy in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 1998. I said yes without even thinking. Now I would say yes, but I would think first. Back then the boss asked me and I said yes straight away. 'Yeah, ok'. Now it would be 'oooh'. I have taken some important penalties since then, but there would always be something in the back of my mind. At that age, you don't feel like that - and you can see it in the eyes of Wayne Rooney.
I like people who can make me jump off my feet. One thing I really respect about the English game is that it's played with the heart, win lose or draw. I like Rooney for that. You sometimes see him do some strange tackles, some strange challenges, but he's a guy who plays with his heart. I don't know how long he will stay there, but he obviously loves Everton and you can see that he doesn't care who he is playing against or where he's playing. He just does what he does best, taking people on and running past them. I just like people who play with their hearts, not too much talking or anything like that. He may fly into challenges sometimes, but I love that because it shows emotion. He does it (score goals) even more when he plays for England and that is when it should be more difficult. You would think he would score five goals against Leciester City in the Premiership, but he doesn't - he scores a couple for England at international level instead. True, he has better players around him but, trust me, international football is another level and sometimes you can be found out. How many players do you know who are outstanding for a small club and can be an amazing player for the national team? You can't give that to anyone, but he has that. He's a special player. We all knew he was a bit special. He got the record and the country went more mad, but he deserves it. Sometimes it must be too difficult for him, but you can see that he's a young talent and really special and he always scores special goals.
Thierry Henry

Wayne is still learning his trade, which is why I think he should stay at Everton for a while and I have already told him as much. He does things that just can't be coached - and in that way he is certainly like me. He is an instinctive player, someone who can manipulate a football in the most amazing way without even thinking about it. I love the fact that, like me at his age, he will go straight from the training ground and have a kickabout with his mates. I never got tired of playing football because I enjoyed it so much and Wayne should use that passion to his advantage. This summer is his big opportunity and he must seize it. Wayne is young enough to play in three World Cups - but you just don't know what might happen.
Paul Gascoigne

They were great goals and the second was a bit special. I don't think he is overawed by anything. He is fearless. He has taken everything in his stride with England and 99 per cent of people wouldn't be able to do that.
Frank Lampard

I doubt how much Rooney can give to England. He is very young - too young for such a hard competition like this. He lacks international experience, so for England to depend on him to score their goals is dangerous. Rooney is not Michael Owen - he was a far better player on his debut for the England team. The Everton player is good, but he is no Pele.
Lilian Thuram

He has the ability and we should be glad he is with us. Questions had been raised about his temperament but he answered that with those goals. He is a bit special for an 18-year-old.
Jamie Carragher

I looked at the video of the incident against Japan but it wasn't that bad. Rooney is 18 and full of temperament. If he loses that, he loses a lot of his force. Though I may have a quiet word with him, I'm not worried. The only thing that concerns me is his fitness. I thought he was missing a bit of sharpness against Japan. We are working on it and he's done more running than others. As for his weight, he's not put any on.
Sven Goran Eriksson

Rooney is potentially the best England player of my lifetime. It beggars belief a kid can be as good as him. Yes, he is still young and we don't know what he will achieve but he could reach the level of French superstar Zinedine Zidane.
Gary Lineker

I've had to try and mature a lot quicker than most lads of my age. When I first played for Everton I used to come back from games, knock on my mate's door and have a kickabout in the street. Obviously, it's a lot more difficult now with me being recognised the whole time. Also I've got my own house and moved so I don't see my old mates as much. But, no, I wouldn't call it a downside to fame. Any 18-year-old in the world would love to swap places with me, I'm sure. There's going to be a lot of pressure on me in Portugal this summer but it's the same for the whole team and we've got to be prepared to accept it and get on with the job.
Anyway, it's not really pressure going out to play for your country. There's a lot of worse things you could be doing. But if we want to do well, we are going to have to be strong, tough and really stick together. Obviously everyone else helps me along but I've got to do it myself. If I can't, there's no point in them even trying. I just have to be sensible. Yes, I've got good people round me. My family and my girlfriend are always there - and they'll be in Portugal as well. All the England lads have been brilliant. Steven Gerrard is a good mate of mine and, when I first got in the squad, he really helped me. The first thing he did was knock on my door, take me to play pool and make me feel at home. But, in the end, it's all down to me. I have to be totally focused on doing things the right way. Well, I got the ball, managed to beat a few players and then chip the goalie. It was one of my first sessions and all the players just looked at me and started to clap. Everything I do is instinctive. When I get the ball whatever happens, happens. Sometimes you don't even know what you're doing.

I've studied a few of their videos and the thing I love about them (Alan Shearer & Kenny Dalglish) is their attitude towards the game and winning. I'm exactly the same. I want to win every game I play in and I think that's a good thing in a player.
Thierry Henry. He's absolutely brilliant, the best around. So quick and yet so cool when it comes to tucking his chances away as he does regularly. Obviously I get nervous before games - especially with England. But once I get out on the pitch something takes over and I seem able to forget the worries and just concentrate on trying to help win the game. Right now I feel fit, I feel good, I feel fine and I'm looking forward to the European Championships. Everybody seems to think we have a good chance in the tournament but whatever happens you always need a bit of luck to go all the way.

Wayne Rooney

It's the passion and aggression that people like about Wayne. He's not just a special talent, he is also very committed. And that is what you want to see in your team-mates. Wayne is only 18 years old and, every now and again, you are going to see that sort of thing from him. Obviously, that aggression needs to be controlled - but as far as I'm concerned, there is absolutely no problem with Wayne.
David Beckham

I have seen Wayne play for England only twice - and that was on TV last year. But he is a young player who excites me. It is clear that he has so much talent and, for someone so young, he shows a maturity way above his years. At 18 we are still talking potential here. But anyone who has watched him play will know that he has a great future in football.
The biggest thing I can say about Rooney is that he has the potential to be a legendary player. Pele had all the ability in the world. But one of his great qualities was that he could take anything and any situation in his stride. From the little I have seen of Wayne, I think he can do that too. He can be a big star in the Euro 2004 finals. The fact, that it is his first major tournament as an England player will not faze him a bit. Great players have the habit of always being able to rise to the biggest occasions. Like Pele used to do, they puff out their chests and show the world who is in charge.
I expect Rooney to be able to do that in Portugal. I think he has shown already that he can cope with pressure situations. Just look at how he performed against Turkey in that European Championship qualifier at Sunderland last year. That was a game England had to win - and they needed strong men to help them do it. It was one of Wayne's first games for his country - yet he performed like a veteran who had already picked up 50 caps. Rooney is already a glittering Premiership star with Everton. But, if he has the chance to go to a really elite club, he can be even better and achieve much more. He can become an even greater player. He is already, to my mind, right up there among England's most important players. I rate him on a par with David Beckham, Michael Owen and Frank Lampard. I like Rooney's play very much. He is, of course, dangerous in front of goal, but he is a good all-round footballer as well. He has pace, awareness and power. And he is explosive as well. He has all the qualities I admire in a striker and, on top of that, he seems to have an old head on young shoulders.

Maybe if Wayne (Rooney) had not come through first, there might have been a lot more media attention on me. But luckily for me, Wayne has done brilliantly since breaking into the first-team at Goodison. There has been so much pressure on his shoulders, what with playing for England as well, but he is dealing with it very well. If he hadn't been around, though, that could well have been me.
James Milner

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