Stick with Rooney regardless of his private troubles, urges Ancelotti

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The Independent Football

Fabio Capello was yesterday advised to pick Wayne Rooney for tonight's game in Switzerland by the Chelsea manager, Carlo Ancelotti, whose cool handling of the scandals that dogged John Terry and Ashley Cole last season helped the club land a first domestic Double.

Ancelotti has never been a strict disciplinarian in the mould of Capello, so he was always likely to be less concerned about the private morals of players under his charge. However, he expressed the conviction yesterday that Rooney should play for England tonight, unless it is clear from his attitude in training that he has lost focus, and cited the examples of Terry and Cole as proof that players can put aside problems in their private lives.

"I don't think the private life decides the behaviour of the player on the pitch. John Terry and Ashley Cole were fantastic examples of that last season. It depends on the character of the people," Ancelotti said. "I am not interested if a player goes to sleep at eight o'clock or 12 o'clock. I am only interested in if my player is able to give 100 per cent when he is training. I am not a policeman. John Terry and Ashley Cole showed last season fantastic behaviour on the training ground."

Ancelotti, who was speaking at the launch of his autobiography The Beautiful Games of an Ordinary Genius, also gave his full backing to Capello as England manager despite the team's poor showing at the World Cup.

"The national team had a problem physically. Rooney was not 100 per cent fit," Ancelotti said. "If you win you are a good guy, if you lose you are a poor guy. Before the World Cup Capello was a god. Now he is considered not good enough to manage the national team. He is a great coach. He will show this in the future, I am sure, because he won in every place, in Italy and Spain, and he will do the same here."