This summer’s most predictable piece of news finally came through today, with Wayne Rooney named Steven Gerrard’s successor as England captain ahead of the Three Lions’ Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.
Rooney’s odds to take over from the veteran midfielder never got any longer than 1/3 with Ladbrokes.com, and while goalkeeper Joe Hart and centre-half Gary Cahill were rated credible alternatives, the Manchester United striker’s seniority seems to have seen him through.
The 28-year-old attracted a quote of 8/11 to become England’s most-capped player before the bell tolls on his international career, although that price should be approached with caution as Rooney must turn out 31 times more before eclipsing Peter Shilton’s tally of 126.
Coach Roy Hodgson will likely need to stick by his captain through thick and thin over the next two international qualifying campaigns/tournaments if Rooney is to reach that mark, which is far from certain as the Croxteth native’s time at the top-level starts to wind down.
However, 1/3 odds on the former Everton youth achieving what Gary Lineker, Michael Owen, Alan Shearer and a raft of other England strikers couldn’t, in reeling in Bobby Charlton at the top of his country’s scoring charts, hold much more appeal.
Rooney needs just 10 more goals to overhaul the United legend, and considering he managed as many between 2012-13, this tellingly-short price looks a banker.
Hodgson has called up defenders Danny Rose and Calum Chambers, as well as midfielders Jack Colback and Fabian Delph, none of whom have ever worn the white jersey in a senior fixture, for upcoming clashes with Norway and Switzerland.
England kick off their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign against the latter, who the 67-year-old took all the way to the 1994 World Cup last-16 stage.
New coach Vladimir Petkovic’s charges are 5/2 second favourites to top Group E, behind Hodgson’s men at 2/5.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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