Wayne Rooney has discussed the importance of his new role as England captain, insisting that he feels prepared to wear the armband.
Rooney will take over from Steven Gerrard as captain of the squad, with his first appearance in a full-time captaincy role being against Norway on September 3rd.
Prior to the match, Rooney said: “When the manager made me aware that I was captain I said to him it’s a great honour. I want to be successful and for this team to be. We all want that and are working hard for that. This is the start of a new chapter.
“It’s important being captain that you try to be the leader, especially with so many young players. That means taking the responsibility of being role model for young kids.
“I had a few issues in my younger days but now feel prepared to take that responsibility. It will be a special moment for myself and my family. Playing for England is a great honour and I’ve always turned up when I’ve been fit. To walk out as captain will be a great honour for me.”
Rooney is taking over leadership of the squad following an horrendous World Cup campaign, which saw the team fall out of the tournament before the knockout stages. With Rooney being the only real option coach Roy Hodgson has for his next captain, this can hardly be deemed a huge privilege for the striker. It’s also another burden for him to shoulder as he continues to be one of the only redeeming qualities of the most poor Manchester United squad in recent history.
Speaking prior to the England squad’s upcoming match, Hodgson said: “You can’t say too much in defence of the [World Cup] situation when you go out in the first round but we thought we were making strides and that there was a rejuvenation of the team.
“What’s important now is that, although we will never forget an experience that will scar us, they serve as a reminder. We don’t want to go through that again.”
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