Rooney Named England CaptainJake Cooper | 12 Oct 2016
It’s a question everyone’s been pondering since Gerrard stepped down from international football just a month ago: who will be the next England captain?
The wait is finally over this week as it has been announced that England stalwart Wayne Rooney has been appointed the new England captain by manager Roy Hodgson.
The 28-year-old, who has been playing for the main England team since 2003, was also named United club captain earlier this month by new boss Louis van Gaal.
“It is something I will take massive pride in doing. To be appointed captain is beyond my wildest dreams,” Rooney commented.
Hodgson stated: “I gave it a lot of thought but Wayne is an obvious choice. He’s the right man, he’ll show enormous enthusiasm and responsibility.”
He added: “I’ve had a long conversation with him and he’s prepared to accept the pressures that the England captaincy brings.
“In the two years that we’ve been working together I’ve had no reason to question his character, desire to play for the country and wholehearted willingness to offer himself in every situation.”
Rooney was the youngest player ever to play for England when he was called up in a friendly against Australia over a decade ago. He scored his first international goal against Macedonia just a few months later in a qualifier for the European Championships.
To date he has captained the team twice: once in a friendly against Brazil in 2009; the other time in a World Cup qualifier against San Marino in 2012.
Public opinion appears mixed on Rooney’s new appointment. Those in favour have been suggesting that as one of the more experienced players on the England team he will be able to motivate and inspire those around him.
It’s also been said that the role might help to motivate him, both as a player and as a leader. It’s certainly true that the hot-headed temper he displayed in his earlier years has evaporated and what remains is a mature and competent player.
Those disappointed in Hodgson’s decision to name Rooney as captain are unsure of the striker’s ability to do the job. To them his appointment is merely a reflection of the fact that he has the biggest name English football and that the Football Association is too concerned with the commercial value of the captaincy.
It remains to be seen how Rooney will approach his new role as captain and whether he will inspire the team. England play Norway on 3 September at Wembley in a friendly as a warm up for their first Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland on 8 September.