If Rooney is handed England captaincy, will Van Gaal be under pressure at United?

Rooney V Cardiff

Following the retirement of Steven Gerrard from international football, Wayne Rooney could be in line for the captain’s armband for the Three Lions.

The Liverpool skipper has stepped down from his post as England captain, retiring following the World Cup in Brazil and Manchester United No.10 Wayne Rooney is earmarked as one of the senior players in line for the skipper’s armband.

Manager Roy Hodgson will likely choose between Rooney, Joe Hart and Gary Cahill but with 95 caps, more than either of those two, former national team boss Sven-Goran Eriksson believed the Red Devils’ forward is the man for the job.

However, there is another armband up for grabs this summer with the departure of Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra at Old Trafford, new United manager Louis van Gaal has a decision to make over who will succeed the captain and vice-captain, respectively.

Van Gaal already has a strong relationship with striker Robin van Persie via his work with the Netherlands but if Rooney becomes national team captain that could put the Dutch coach under a little more pressure to pick the 28-year-old who has been at Old Trafford for a decade now.

Goalkeeper David De Gea is still only 23, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans are 22 and 26, respectively, whilst 32-year-old Michael Carrick has been ruled out for up to three months through injury and may not be considered a first choice to star in the team under the new boss, much like Darren Fletcher who has only recently recovered from serious illness.

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Of the experienced and senior players at the club at present, the most obvious candidates for added responsibility and leadership are Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney. The Dutchman, 30 years old, however, has only been at the club two years but the boss’ trust in him is high.

Ultimately, Louis van Gaal is not the type of character to bow to pressure from anyone else, least of all the English press or England manager but if he chooses Robin van Persie to take the armband and England pick Rooney, there may be an eyebrow or two raised in the media and potentially in the dressing room too although how vocal the players involved might be about it would, of course, depend on how much they want to fall out with one of the most intimidating managers in the game.

Who would you pick as captain?

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