Rooney named new England captain
Roy Hodgson has named Wayne Rooney as the new England captain.
The 28-year-old Manchester United skipper got the nod ahead of the likes of Chelsea's Gary Cahill and Manchester City's Joe Hart to become the successor to Steven Gerrard, who retired from international football after the World Cup.
Rooney, who has worn the England armband on two previous occasions, will lead a new-look England squad featuring four uncapped players into the upcoming matches against Norway and Switzerland.
"Wayne is an obvious choice for his honesty, commitment to the cause, his experience, the fact he has already captained England in the past," Hodgson said.
"Now of course he's got that responsibility at Manchester United as well. All those factors weighed into my thought process and I'm pleased to be able to say I've been able to offer it to him. I had a long conversation with him and he's prepared to accept the pressures the England captaincy brings."
Asked if he expected the move to spur Rooney on to even greater heights, however, Hodgson demurred.
"I try to shy away from that," he said.
"I think it's dangerous to demand that of people. We see so often in the past it takes you on to a new level but with 95 caps and all the goals he's scored, all the things he's done, we've already seen he's prepared to take responsibility.
"We hope he continues to push on, he continues to play well and he shoulders the responsibility of the captaincy as well as the other captains before him."
Jack Colback, Calum Chambers, Danny Rose and Fabian Delph are included in the 22-man party.
Tottenham winger Andros Townsend returns to the squad after missing the World Cup through injury and there is also a place for Everton's 20-year-old defender John Stones.
Chambers has caught the eye at Arsenal since his Â£16million move from Southampton and has earned a call-up despite the concerns of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger that it is too early in his career.
Danny Rose has been rewarded for his good early-season form with Tottenham and Fabian Delph comes into the squad because of his progress at Aston Villa.
It is Colback's call-up which comes as the biggest surprise.
The Newcastle midfielder has rarely been mentioned as a possible candidate for England duty, but Hodgson's hand has been forced by a series of injuries.
Kyle Walker (pelvis), Ross Barkley (knee), Theo Walcott (knee), Glen Johnson (thigh), Luke Shaw (hamstring), Michael Carrick (ankle), Jon Flanagan (knee), Adam Lallana (knee), Chris Smalling (groin), Kieran Gibbs (hamstring), Jay Rodriguez (knee) and Andy Carroll (ankle) are all missing through injury.
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