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Rooney set to head England revamp

28 Aug 2014 06:46:51

Rooney set to head England revamp

England's post-World Cup era is set to begin with Wayne Rooney as captain and three uncapped players in a new-look squad.

Manager Roy Hodgson will name his squad for the upcoming matches against Norway and Switzerland at a noon press conference.

Press Association Sport understands Hodgson will include uncapped trio Calum Chambers, Danny Rose and Fabian Delph, as well as Everton's 20-year-old defender John Stones.

But it is the captaincy which is attracting the most attention, and it would be a huge surprise if Rooney was not given the nod to succeed Steven Gerrard.

Following the retirements of Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, Rooney is by far the most experienced of the players available to Hodgson.

The 28-year-old has 95 caps and has just been appointed skipper of Manchester United, while Gerrard labelled him " a natural leader."

The Liverpool man added: "Aside from being a top player, one who commands respect within the group, Wayne is passionate about representing his country and won't be fazed by the responsibility."

Gary Cahill and Joe Hart look to be the other two candidates and either could end up taking the vice-captaincy, also vacant following Lampard's international retirement on Tuesday.

Hodgson knows his squad will have a youthful and inexperienced look about it when he names it at Wembley.

But 10 weeks on from the group-stage exit in Brazil, he sounded optimistic about the future.

"I thought in the final (World Cup) game against Costa Rica, when we gave a few young players a chance to show what they could do, I was quite buoyed by that and I have been buoyed by some of the performances in pre-season and early in the Premier League," Hodgson said during a Google Hangout with England sponsors Vauxhall recently.

Stones, Chambers and Rose, the Tottenham left-back who has played 29 times for England Under-21s, are expected to slot into a defensive selection weakened by injury doubts over Kyle Walker, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Jon Flanagan, Glen Johnson and Kieran Gibbs.

Chambers, 19, has slotted comfortably into the Arsenal defence since his £16million move from Southampton this summer.

Arsene Wenger told Hodgson to think long and hard about what effect calling up Chambers would have on the teenager, but the England boss is satisfied the Saints academy product fits the bill as a future international.

Ross Barkley, Theo Walcott and Jay Rodriguez are all out with long-term injuries and Liverpool's Adam Lallana is also a doubt due to a knee problem.

The Norway friendly, which is followed five days later by England's first Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland in Basle, is expected to be played before the lowest international crowd at the new Wembley with o nly 17,000 tickets sold as of last Thursday.


PA

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