The upcoming game with San Marino sees England play a side who are currently ranked 202 places below them in FIFA’s World Ranking’s and while they are often a pretty unreliable source of information when it comes to genuine quality in this case the gap seems a fair conceptualised margin.
At 207th in the world San Marino are currently the joint worst team in world football, joined only by Bhutan and the Turks and Caicos Islands and behind such power football forces as Brunei Darussalam, Timor-Leste and South Sudan, who have been a country barely a year.
So we should, rightfully, expect gluttony of goals against a team comprising completely of amateurs and one man who could potentially benefit from such a truth is Wayne Rooney. The Manchester United forward has been excellent since returning from that nasty injury at the start of the season and will be hoping to find his first goal of the campaign against the minnows of world football.
Yet the game may be even more significant if Rooney, as expected is handed the captaincy. With Steven Gerrard suspended, Frank Lampard unlikely to be risked with his thigh injury, Gareth Barry not picked and Scott Parker still bearing war wounds from the summer it leaves Rooney the obvious choice for captaincy after John Terry’s retirement leaves him out of the running.
Ashley Cole will likely play, but his captain chances have blown up quicker than you can compose a Tweet after he called the FA a bunch of ‘pregnant goldfishes’; if you believe the urban myth surrounding the hat rhythmical expletives use for describing expectant common fun-fair prizes.
With only Joe Hart a genuine contender to take the role surely Rooney will be given the armband and in doing so he could become England’s fifth greatest goalscorer of all time in the process.
Currently tied on 29 goals with Vivian Woodward one strike would bring him level with Alan Shearer, Nat Lofthouse and Tom Finney, but a brace would see him take the spot outright, and have former Manchester United team-mate Michael Owen directly in his sights.
The end goal most surely be going top of that list, with Sir Bobby Charlton’s 49 goals getting closer and closer for the 26-year-old.
With plenty of games left in his international career the forward would love to go clear of the chasing pack and into a prime position to challenge for the mantle of all-time record scorer with a goal, or two, or three at Wembley. Wearing the armband will just cap it off nicely.
What do you make of Rooney captaining the side? And whether he will eventually catch up with Sir Bobby’s record?
image: © daly3d