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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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Rooney defends conduct after criticism

Wayne Rooney has launched a fierce defence of his style of play, and insisted: ''I always feel in control.''

The Manchester United and England forward is regarded as one of the most talented players of his generation but his combative approach to the game has earned him plenty of criticism.

Rooney was in the headlines again on Boxing Day with claims he threw an elbow at Stoke's Abdoulaye Faye, while he has also been in the spotlight over his apparent stamp on Aalborg's Kasper Risgard during a Champions League clash at Old Trafford.

But the 23-year-old told the Sunday Mirror: ''I don't think there is a problem with my temperament.

''I don't accept that I need to learn to count to 10 in certain situations because I always feel in control of myself.

''I do get stuck in during matches, but I like to think that I keep calm both on the pitch and off it.

''It's people who don't know me who like to have a go at me. But I don't give them a moment's thought because they're just not important to me.

''I wouldn't like to let my family or my friends down and as long as they're proud of me that's all that matters.

''People who know me will tell you that I am a quiet and shy person at heart.''

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