Southgate Confirms Wayne Rooney Will Lead England against Scotland
Gareth Southgate has confirmed that Wayne Rooney will be captained the England national team for the upcoming World Cup 2018 qualification game against Scotland and the friendly against Spain.
These two games are extremely important for Southgate, as it represents his application for a permanent role as the England manager. He has been appointed only on an interim basis until the end of the season. England are widely expected to appoint a popular name – perhaps even foreign – as the replacement for Sam Allardyce. However, Southgate can certainly put himself in the frame with some good performances from now till March.
He has had to make some tough decisions already and one of the most important is the selection of Wayne Rooney. The Manchester United striker has been unable to get into the United squad owing to poor form.
Yet, Southgate has remained faithful to the player who is the record goalscorer for the national team with 53 in 118 appearances. Rooney may seem to have lost to the captaincy at United, but Southgate confirmed that the 31-year-old remains the man to lead England under his regime. Rooney has already confirmed his intentions to retire from England duty after the World Cup 2018, if England qualify for the competition.
"He's in a better place than he was for the last get together in terms of his sharpness, confidence.He's really an experienced player for game like this. There was no hesitation from my point of view to play him.He's playing well, he's played well in the last couple of games for Manchester United. He's a player that when he's in a rhythm of playing that helps. He's confident. His experience is important in a game like this with a team with a lot of energy and potential, but you also need some experienced players around that," said Southgate.