Sport

Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney to claim captain’s armband as injured Frank Lampard pulls out of England tie

By Dean Wilkins

Frank Lampard will not travel to Wembley after pulling out of England’s World Cup qualifier through injury, and the door is open for Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney to become captain.

With Steven Gerrard suspended it was only fitting for Roy Hodgson to give the armband to the Chelsea man, however a knee problem has ruled him out of tomorrow’s clash against San Marino.

And 26-year-old Rooney is the man next in line to lead his country out for the first time in a competitive fixture, and he is everybody’s choice according to Manchester City ace Joe Hart.

“I’ve no idea who is going to be captain but I am pretty sure it will fall to Rooney,” said the Premier League champions’ No. 1.

“He is our star man with ten million caps at the age of whatever he is, 26?

“I imagine he is a little bit further up the queue than me.”

Rooney has captained the Three Lions once before, during a friendly tie against Brazil three years, but Fabio Capello felt his reckless striker could not be trusted again.

But Hodgson is likely to step up and select the United man as his aging midfielders make way for the next generation, but the 25-year-old keeper would be happy to take the job.

“Of course I would, anyone would,” said Hart. “But I didn’t go into goal thinking I wanted to be captain.

“I just want to play and do my best for the team, whether you’ve got the band or you haven’t.

“It is a great thing to play for your country. I’m not really bothered who is in charge of it.”

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