Roy Hodgson names Wayne Rooney as England captain
Wayne Rooney has been named as the successor to Steven Gerrard as England captain by manager Roy Hodgson. The Manchester United forward has represented the Three Lions, who are 14/1 to win Euro 2016, on 95 occasions, scoring 40 goals.
The player was understandably delighted to have succeeded his friend Gerrard and said: “To be named as the England captain is a dream come true for me personally and of course my family. It is something that I will take massive pride in doing.”
He is joint-fourth highest ever England scorer, tied with Michael Owen and nine behind Sir Bobby Charlton. At 28, Rooney, who came through the ranks at Everton, is approaching the peak of his career and has every chance of taking the record for caps (currently held by Peter Shilton with 125; David Beckham is the highest outfield player with 115) and goals.
Rooney is odds-on at 1/4 to break the record held by Charlton, while he is evens to overtake Shilton.
The appointment of Rooney is also a serious hint that Hodgson plans to build the team around him, with the likes of Ross Barkley, Adam Lallana and Jack Wilshere set to establish themselves as England’s next generation of players.
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal also named Rooney as captain before the start of the new season, and Hodgson may have recognised this as a sign that he is ready to accept such responsibility, acting as a role model for the likes of 19-year-old Luke Shaw.
After appointing Rooney as captain, Hodgson said: “I gave it a lot of thought but Wayne is an obvious choice. He deserves it, his commitment to the cause, his experience. He has captained England in the past and has that responsibility at Manchester United.
“I’m pleased to say I’ve been able to offer it to him. I’ve had a long conversation with him and he’s prepared to accept the pressures that the England captaincy brings. It’s important that the players wants to take on that enormous responsibility.”
Undoubtedly Rooney will be targeting World Cup success with England, who are 20/1 to lift the trophy in 2018.