Joe Hart Tips Wayne Rooney For Captaincy Against San Marino, Will Miss John Terry
England goalkeeper Joe Hart dives in vein to prevent Samir Nasri's equalizer for France in their Euro 2012 match in Donetsk. (Photo: Reuters)
England goalkeeper Joe Hart is rallying around Wayne Rooney for the Three Lions captain's arm-band.
The 25-year-old Manchester City goalkeeper feels that Rooney is the right choice for the captain's position for the World Cup qualifier against San Marino at Wembley Friday.
England's regular skipper Steven Gerrard is out with a suspension and vice-captain and senior player Frank Lampard is likely to miss the game due to fitness issues. John Terry had already announced his retirement hours before the FA started its hearing into his alleged racial abuse of Queen Park Rangers' defender Anton Ferdinand.
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Experts have also suggested Hart's name for the top job while other feel it should be a contest between the two senior players in the team - Hart and Rooney.
However, now that Hart has himself stated that Rooney is the best man for the job, speculations for the same would eventually die down.
"I've no idea who is going to be captain but I am pretty sure it will fall to Rooney. He is our star man with 10 million caps at the age of whatever he is, 26? I imagine he is a little bit further up the queue than me," Hart told reporters at their new training base in St Geroge's Park.
"How the captain is chosen is the manager's decision. I've got a big responsibility to keep my place in the team for club and country."
However, Hart felt that he would miss Terry as his presence in the defence quarter provided a formidable shield for the goalkeeper.
"John is a great centre-half and a great servant to his country. It's a shame we've lost him," Hart told www.espnstar.com.
"I don't know what's going on in John's life on or off the field."
"I only know him when I'm here training and eating chicken and pasta next to him. He is a really good guy and, football wise, an inspiration. It is a big blow not having him here," he said.
Meanwhile, Rooney, who has 76 England caps, is already gearing up for the key position. "There are a lot of young players in the squad and I always try to speak to them and offer advice," said Rooney.
"I remember Alex Ferguson telling me what a big help [Eric] Cantona was to all those younger players at United. It is something I can try to do for England and hopefully help bring the best out of them, as they can bring the best out of me."