Rooney leads England into new era

August 28, 2014
Football - Premier League - Bet Now at Bet365

Head coach Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Wayne Rooney will captain England as they begin their quest to qualify for the European Championships in 2016.

The 28-year-old Manchester United striker takes over the armband from Steven Gerrard, following a disappointing showing at the World Cup which saw England crash out in the group stage.

Rooney has won 95 caps to date, scoring 40 goals, putting him joint fourth on the all-time goalscoring list alongside Michael Owen - nine goals behind the 49 of Sir Bobby Charlton.

The forward made his international bow more than a decade ago against Australia in February 2003, with his first goal for England coming against FYR Macedonia in September of the same year.

He told reporters: "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."

Meanwhile, Hodgson has handed first call-ups to defenders Calum Chambers and Danny Rose and midfield pair Jack Colback and Fabian Delph for the upcoming friendly against Norway and the following Euro 2016 qualifier in Switzerland.

Hodgson is starting life with without Gerrard and Frank Lampard, who have both retired from international football, while Everton schemer Ross Barkley is absent due to a long-term injury, as is Red Devils left-back Luke Shaw.

Spurs winger Andros Townsend returns after injury kept him out of the World Cup finals in Brazil, while Everton defender John Stones also wins the nod.

 Fraser Forster (Southampton), Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion), Joe Hart (Manchester City).

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Calum Chambers (Arsenal), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Everton).

Midfielders: Jack Colback (Newcastle United), Fabian Delph (Aston Villa), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).

Forwards: Rickie Lambert (Liverpool), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).

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