Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

LEADING MAN ROO IS ALL SET TO FIRE ; Rio Ferdinand Says Twin Captaincy for Reds and England Will Inspire Striker

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

LEADING MAN ROO IS ALL SET TO FIRE ; Rio Ferdinand Says Twin Captaincy for Reds and England Will Inspire Striker

Article excerpt

BEING handed the United captain's armband will act as a stimulant to help push Wayne Rooney onto the next level of his career.

That is the view of Rio Ferdinand despite the fact the 29-year- old is serving a three-match ban for his red card against West Ham just six games into his reign as the Reds skipper.

Rooney has been in action for England during the international break, scoring in both Euro 2016 qualifying wins against San Marino at Wembley last week and in Tallinn against Estonia on Sunday.

But he won't be back for Louis van Gaal until the Manchester derby on November 2 and will miss United's visit to West Brom this Monday and then the first heavyweight contest of van Gaal's reign against Chelsea at Old Trafford a week on Sunday.

The United manager handed Rooney the job on the eve of the season following the departure to Inter Milan at the end of last term of Nemanja Vidic.

England boss Roy Hodgson followed suit after Steven Gerrard's international retirement and is set to hand him his 100th cap against Slovenia next month at Wembley.

Rooney, however, has still been criticised for missing too many chances.

But Ferdinand, who like Rooney captained both United and England, thinks the dual role is just what the forward needs in his football life.

"Wayne's record demanded that he wears the Manchester United armband. He deserves it," Rio told MEN Sport.

Rooney's goals for the Three Lions took his account for club and country this season to six in ten matches, edging him ever closer to becoming the all-time leading scorer for both United and England.

He is third in United's all-time top scorers list behind Denis Law and number one hitman Sir Bobby Charlton needing 19 goals to leapfrog the Law Man and 31 to overtake Charlton at the top of the tree.

He is fourth in England's hit-list behind Jimmy Greaves, Gary Lineker and Charlton who again leads the pack. …

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