Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney will continue as England captain, with manager Sam Allardyce saying it was an “easy decision’’.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Rooney is England’s record goal scorer and took on the armband from Steven Gerrard a year ago.
Allardyce said Rooney who also captains United was “hugely respected by his peers’’ and has “enjoyed the responsibility’’ as captain.
NAN reports that the England squad is preparing for Sunday’s opening 2018 World Cup qualifier in Slovakia.
The 30-year-old Rooney led Roy Hodgson’s England side during Euro 2016, which ended with a disappointing last-16 exit to international minnows Iceland.
But Allardyce said Rooney had been “an excellent captain for England’’ and as the most senior squad member was the “right choice to lead the team’’.
“You would hope the captain would make a decision on the pitch if he felt it needed to (be made),’’ said Allardyce, 61.
“For me, that’s the captain’s role. It’s a big responsibility at club level and even more so at international level. First and foremost, lead by example.
“It’s all about the personality. Can you handle the responsibility of being captain? I think he (Rooney) has enjoyed the responsibility. Some players don’t want that responsibility.’’
Rooney was employed as a midfielder during Euro 2016 under Hodgson, but at Old Trafford this season under Jose Mourinho, Rooney has played in a deeper position behind the striker.
“Wayne Rooney’s position has changed at Manchester United and that is where I will play him,” Allardyce said.
“Dele Alli has started well too, so that makes it a difficult choice. We’ll wait and see, but we are looking at balance of positions.
“We want to have two players in each position and not leave ourselves short. Hopefully we make that selection after this (training camp) and we know the best XI to start with.”(NAN)