Rooney 'should be England captain'

13 August 2014 05:16

New Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is the right man to lead England to Euro 2016, according to Everton skipper Phil Jagielka.

Jagielka hailed new Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal for handing Rooney the Old Trafford armband, then tipped Roy Hodgson to follow suit at international level.

Rooney is now the favourite to succeed Liverpool talisman Steven Gerrard, who retired from international football following England's miserable World Cup in Brazil.

Jagielka is among those mooted as England's next skipper, but has chosen to throw his weight firmly behind Rooney.

"It looks like Wayne's going to be the main candidate for it, so I don't see why not," said Jagielka at the official Barclays Premier League launch.

"If you look at the way he's matured over the last few years, obviously there's games where he probably does get a little too heated up, but that's what we love about the way he plays - his passion.

"And I'm sure the England fans would love that as well.

"I think it's definitely a good decision for Manchester United to make him captain and I think the way he's progressed over the last few years, settling down with a family and all sorts, I think he'd be a great choice as England captain."

Jagielka admitted assuming the Everton armband has given him a new appreciation of how to help young stars like Ross Barkley and John Stones fulfil their rich potential.

The 31-year-old defender backed Rooney to thrive on guiding United's youngsters through the Premier League ranks this season.

England finished bottom of Group D in Brazil with just one point and no victories in a lacklustre campaign, with captain Gerrard retiring in the aftermath.

Boss Hodgson revealed earlier this week he has never considered standing down, hinting that Rooney is the front-runner for the captaincy, and Jagielka believes appointing the former Everton striker would be a shrewd move.

"It's easy to stand back when things are going well for the young players," said Jagielka.

"Sometimes you can just let them get on with it - I'm not even sure they get nervous any more.

"But when things go a little bit wrong, if there's a mistake or a loss of form, it's up to myself as captain and some of the older players just to put an arm around them, keep them going and get them to the place where they play their best football.

"That's what I've been learning over the last 18 months, that's the sort of role you want, you can't be giving too many tellings-off, it's all about managing these young lads, because some of the ability they've got is frightening.

"You see in Wayne how he has matured, and he knows how to help young players too."

Source: PA