England: Rooney! Really?
For the man once dubbed the White Pele, Wayne Rooney’s career has not been as all-conquering as some might have predicted after those heady, awe inspiring performances in Portugal in 2004. I will give him that he has had some successes, for instance the Champions League victory in 2008, countless Premier League’s, and not a small amount of F.A. Cups. However, he has never driven England on as much as his talent would make you think that he should’ve. The red card against Portugal in 2006, the red against Montenegro, his inability to score in World Cups until he turned 28, on the international stage he has largely been, at best, of little significance in the big games, and at worst a hindrance. His amount of goals a trick borne of longevity and easy qualification groups.
This is the man that has been touted by many to become the next England captain. Roy Hodgson has had him as captain before, he has captained Manchester United before, and he is a rarity in the current England squad, a player with over 50 caps. All this would seem to make him the favourite for the job, although he shouldn’t be. Should your captain really be a player that had his position in the side under scrutiny just over two months ago? Rooney has never looked completely at ease in an England shirt, would giving him the captaincy really help change this much?
You may say that there are no other options, with such a young team it has to be a senior player who takes the armband, however inappropriate for the job he is. However, this is not so, and even if it was, there are other options.
Generally seen as the second favourite for the job, Cahill has managed to go from fresh faced international debutant to the new Terry Butcher in the eyes of his fans in no time at all. With 27 caps for England, he counts as a veteran already and is one of the few players with no doubts about their starting place. If only he could cut his forehead now…
Another of the few sure of a starting place, Joe Hart may have lost all credibility as a leader after what can only be described as being out-suaved by Andrea Pirlo in 2012. However, with 43 caps he does have more experience than most, and he seems to work well with the press. Plus, he definitely has more of his own hair than Rooney. You could say he’s would be head and shoulders above him as a candidate…sorry.
A bit out of the blue, but before moving to Liverpool he had captained Southampton for two seasons. Plus he would be a proper cut off from the past, and really show that this is a new beginning for the national side. Also, he would make sure that the now very widely dispersed Southampton players were still able to play together from the four corners of the Earth that they have fled from Ronald Koeman to.
I know it's not going to happen, but just think about how happy he’d be, plus it would make a great film, ‘From Beetroot to Beating the World’ maybe? No? Well the title can be sorted out later.