You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Rooney not guaranteed England captaincy

Press Association logoPress Association 23/03/2017 Simon Peach

Gareth Southgate is giving himself time to find the "best scenario" when it comes to the England captaincy, having told Wayne Rooney the role is no longer his by right.

Former Middlesbrough and England Under-21s boss Southgate has repeatedly underlined the need for leaders and last week suggested he favoured a shift away from the notion of a permanent England captain.

Rooney, who the manager confirmed as skipper in December, was left out of the squad for the 1-0 loss in Germany and Sunday's (Monday AEDT) World Cup qualifier against Lithuania amid questions over game-time and fitness.

"I guess I am giving myself time to think through what the best scenario is, really," Southgate said in regards to the captaincy.

"I have said in the past we want to develop more leaders. We did that with Gary (Cahill in Germany) - I know he's not playing on Sunday and it is opportunity to share that responsibility.

"I think people have stepped up in their performance, so there were people that weren't wearing the armband that played with the ball as leaders and played without it as leaders, so for me that's the more important part."

Rooney and Liverpool's Jordan Henderson - both absent from this squad - have each led the side out on two occasions under Southgate, while Cahill wore the armband in Dortmund.

However, the Chelsea defender is suspended for the Lithuania match, with another player to captain the side at Wembley.

Asked if there could be a system that sees the most capped player captain the side, he said: "It is one possibility, but then at the moment that would mean Joe (Hart) gets it every time.

"It is something I want to think through but it is not as important to me as making sure that more develop and more are given responsibility."

More From Press Association

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon