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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 28, 2008

Capello wants target man to complement Rooney

Fabio Capello is set to provide Wayne Rooney with a target man to ensure he gets the Manchester United man right where he wants him. After an element of experimentation with Rooney during his first two games as England boss, Capello intends to use the 22-year-old's talents to their best effect against the United States at Wembley tonight. Capello is convinced Rooney is best suited to operating just behind a main striker. And it seems certain Dean Ashton will be used as the foil, with Rooney ghosting around the penalty area. 'Wayne Rooney is very important to us,' said Capello. 'His potential is huge but he can do better. 'In my opinion, his best position is as a central striker, just behind the person who plays up front. 'That way he can play with his face to the goal rather than his back. You need someone more advanced but then have someone who can move around him. 'It is good for Wayne because he knows he must score more goals.' If he can find the best position for Rooney, Capello should then be a significant step closer to solving the conundrum involving Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, which so perplexed Sven-Goran Eriksson and Steve McClaren. The presence of Lampard under Capello for the first time means interesting team selection and formation are guaranteed. It is Rooney that Capello spent most time musing over though, agreeing wholeheartedly with Sir Alex Ferguson's opinion that the former Everton star is too committed for his own good. 'I have spoken with Rooney maybe three times now. And I've said to him that he is too generous,' said the Italian. 'He has been trying to do too much. He needs to play in the best position for him. He needs to be more selfish, otherwise he is tired and not fresh. 'It is important to be fresh near the goal. 'When I saw Rooney at Euro 2004 he played very well. He has to play like he did then.' As he reaches the halfway point of the five friendlies he has to build a team ahead of the opening World Cup qualifier with Andorra in Barcelona on September 6, Capello knows he must get Rooney's involvement right. And, bizarrely for someone steeped in the continental approaches of Italy and Spain, the 61-year-old will do so in a typically British style. 'Overall, we need more intensity and more speed in our game,' he reflected. 'We need to press more. You could say we need more of an English-type game.'

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