Should Wayne Rooney be the new England captain?
If John Terry loses the job, Fabio Capello could turn to the Manchester United striker
Could Wayne Rooney be the man to lead England at the World Cup this summer if, as expected, John Terry fails to survive the firestorm that has engulfed him after an affair with a team mate's girlfriend?
Fabio Capello apparently believes Rooney has what it takes to lead his country, even though he would appear to be some way down the pecking order behind the likes of vice-captain Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand.
There is a growing belief that Terry will stand down as skipper, and even if he does not Capello would seem to have little choice but to bow to public opinion and relieve the player of the armband.
The question of who should replace him is a thorny one. Capello is a fan of Terry's leadership style on the pitch and would want someone with similar qualities to take over. He stressed that he wanted his captain to have a "big personality", and it is thought that the Italian is not convinced by Gerrard and Ferdinand in that respect.
What's more, both have suffered from injury problems recently, meaning that they may only have a few games to settle into the role before the World Cup.
With only a few months until kick-off in South Africa Capello will want someone who can stamp his authority on the team in the lead-up to the tournament, rather than a player worrying about their own form and match fitness and maybe only playing a bit part in games as a result.
Rooney, by comparison, is in the form of his life. He has also matured as a person - the 24-year-old recently became a father for the first time and his disciplinary record has improved dramatically this season. He was no stranger to the tabloids in his younger days - and admitted visiting prostitutes - but now only appears on the back pages.
The question is whether it would be too much pressure for the young striker to take - he is already carrying the bulk of England's hopes on his shoulders.
Bookies have Steven Gerrard a strong 4/7 favourite to be the next player after Terry to captain England, but Rooney is second favourite at 4/1. Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand are both 7/1 with former skipper David Beckham at 10/1. ·
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