Recently, we saw Wayne Rooney being honoured with the captain’s armband for the national side. People all around were generally approving of this decision and Rooney himself was chuffed at the idea of leading the side out at Wembley.
He performed well in his new role and wasn’t fazed at all. Ok it was only San Marino but to captain your country (even once) is a huge thing for any player.
This got me thinking, why can’t we have Rooney don the captain’s armband at club level?
Here are four reasons why he should be captain at Manchester United:
1) Hunger and Motivation - Rooney lives for the game. He is one of the old types who only want to play the game. He has had this desire to succeed as a player ever since he was a kid and this psychology of his is what endears him the most to the Stretford end faithful. He is looked upon as a game changer, a match winner and he thrives in such situations. He gives 100% every game and is a reflection of Sir Alex Ferguson in more ways than one.
2) Age - Rooney is just 26 years old (will turn 27 in 8 days time). He has at least 6-7 years of top flight football left in him. He is vastly experienced with a decade of Premier League action behind him and 75 caps (including tonight’s game v Poland) for his country. He knows the game well and has dealt with a lot of things over the past 10 years.
3) Suitability - Rooney is tailor-made for captaincy. Tom Cleverley himself said after the San Marino game that Rooney keeps talking to the younger players and offers his opinion frequently. That is what a captain does in an official capacity. Rooney will just have to formally wear the captain’s armband but otherwise things are exactly as they were for him. It’ll also give him a massive confidence booster that the club are entrusting him with the captaincy. The club and the player both will benefit from this arrangement.
4) Best guy for the job - Currently, the captain’s armband is worn by Patrice Evra due to Nemanja Vidic being out injured and after that it’s occasionally worn by Ryan Giggs or Rio Ferdinand thanks.
But, in my opinion, Rooney suits the job best. He is getting to his peak while the other three are at the twilight of their careers. Evra has been awful over the past two seasons and needs replacement. Alexander Buttner has been brought in for that purpose. Rio is staying fit which is a big boost for the club but he has no more than two seasons left in him.
Rooney, on the other hand has time, energy and momentum behind him. He will be turning out for the club long after the above three have retired. Due to that there’s no doubt that it will only be fitting that he get the chance to be captain. Seeing someone who is near to them age-wise will be a big boost to the youngsters like Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Danny Welbeck who Rooney already knows and would see grow under his captainship.
To sum up, I’d like to say that this season’s performances will be crucial for Rooney. He has competition for his place and the sheer attacking quality at the club should spur him on to greater heights. It’s there that his and the club’s interests lie. Captaincy will soon follow.
By Yashasvee Prasad @yash647