Arsenal legend Ian Wright has urged Wayne Rooney to get help to control his anger because he is “living on the edge”.
The Manchester United star is facing a two-match ban for a foul-mouthed outburst into a television camera after completing his hat-trick in the 4-2 win at West Ham this past weekend.
And Wright, who revealed he secretly had weekly anger-management sessions for five years during his playing career, believes Rooney must seek help because he “doesn’t appear to be in a particularly good place”.
The former England international wrote in his column for The Sun: “It is hardly any secret that I had a few brushes with the football authorities over the years.
“But one thing I kept from my team-mates at both Arsenal and West Ham was that for a period of five years, I went to weekly anger management sessions, such were the issues I was attempting to confront. In the end, I won the battle.
“Today, I'm urging Rooney to do the same as he doesn't appear to be in a particularly good place.
“Like Rooney, football triggered a lot of problems for me.
“The lady I used to visit each week would discuss a lot of things. We'd trace a lot of the problems to things that happened throughout my life and particularly my childhood.
“Rooney has lived a large part of his life in the public eye.
“He clearly has issues that have to be dealt with. If he was not a footballer, I'd be worried about his well-being.
“Lads similar to Rooney but less fortunate, guys with anger-related issues, can end up in prison. I know, because I have been to various jails and spoken to lads who have gone down the wrong path.
“After scoring his third goal at Upton Park, you could see Rooney was really buzzed-up.
“These days, cameras are a lot closer to the pitch than when I was a player and it is easier to be caught. But I couldn't understand why Rooney started swearing directly at the camera.”
And Wright added: “Whatever Rooney may choose to do, I hope he can find an answer to his problems. He is a fantastic talent but right now, he is living on the edge.
“You just don't know what you are going to get from the lad.”