Wayne Rooney has revealed his desire to be the next captain of Manchester United but has also insisted that he would have no issues with Robin van Persie getting that nod.
Nemanja Vidic, our captain since 2010, has left to join Inter Milan and with Patrice Evra’s future in the air, one of the first tasks for new manager Louis van Gaal would be to appoint a new captain. With David Moyes at the helm, until a month ago, Rooney was by far the favorite to get that role but now, with van Gaal taking over, it’s no longer a certainty. Still, the 28-year-old striker feels that he would be happy to take on that mantle. Speaking at a press conference for England, which was reported by the BBC, Rooney said:
“I am interested in the captaincy. I feel I am ready but it’s the manager’s decision. I’ve captained United a few times and to get it on a full-time basis would be great.”
Our new manager gives a lot of importance to his captains and appoints them personally. In an interview given to FIFA last year, he stated that his captains are given “additional responsibilities” and he looks for “very professional and ambitious players with an honest personality.” His appointment of van Persie as captain of the Netherlands and praise for that role, calling him a “fantastic leader”, after their recent friendly with Ecuador, has made our number 20 the clear favourite to be the captain next season. Rooney, though, has clarified that he has no issues with that.
“If he chooses someone else, then honestly I’ve got no problems with that. I will respect his decision. Robin is captain of his country, he has captained Arsenal and if Robin gets the nod to be captain, then I’m sure he’ll do a great job.”
This has come across as an honest and mature statement from our third-highest all-time goal scorer who, many believed, was on a collision course with van Gaal given the latter’s propensity for brushing off big egos in the dressing room. Whoever van Gaal picks, it’s good to know that Rooney has his head down and is also not taking his place in the first team for granted.
“When a new manager comes in, you always feel you have to prove yourself over again. You don’t know what ideas he has got or how he wants to play. I have not met him yet.
“So when we’ve finished the World Cup and when we go back into training, it will be like a new start and you’ve got to prove yourself again to make sure the manager picks you.”
Fans will make cases for both Wayne and Robin but in the end, we would do well to back Louis van Gaal’s eventual decision, given the importance and responsibility he gives to that role.
By Suneer Verma
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