England vs USA - Wayne Rooney to be given England armband against the United States



Posted Thursday, November 15, 2018 by PA

England vs USA - Wayne Rooney to be given England armband against the United States

Wayne Rooney will wear the number 10 shirt on his England swansong – with manager Gareth Southgate certain the country’s record goalscorer will receive the respect he deserves.

Thursday’s friendly against the United States will see Rooney’s Three Lions career celebrated, with the 33-year-old also set to be given a guard of honour and wear the captain’s armband on what is sure to be an emotional night at Wembley.

Now at DC United, Rooney will make a late substitute appearance in a match named in honour his foundation, with the Football Association’s decision to toast the former captain’s achievements splitting opinion.

While Southgate had confirmed Rooney would not start the game, none of the other special touches had been revealed until he spoke on the eve of the fixture, having first consulted with the rest of his squad.

“We have spoken with the players,” Southgate said. “I didn’t want to make those decisions last week – the players are very keen that Wayne wears the number 10.

“We believe that is a fitting tribute – I think that we have spoken a lot as a group about doing things our own way over the last two years, we did that right through the summer.

“All of our group have huge respect for Wayne and they feel that it is fitting his last game should be his number 10 and when he puts that shirt on his wall somewhere at the end of his career, it is going to be a special night and the 10 is the number he has there.”

Southgate also announced that Manchester City’s Fabian Delph will captain England in what is expected to be a much-changed and experimental side ahead of Sunday’s crunch Nations League meeting with Croatia.

Delph said he will be handing the captaincy to Rooney when he is introduced and that the players have planned to pay their respects to his achievements in their own way.

The decision to honour Rooney’s England career in Thursday’s friendly has been backed by United States head coach David Sarachan.

Rooney will make a late substitute appearance in a match where the Football Association’s decision to toast the former captain’s achievements has split opinion.

The 33-year-old is set to make his 120th international appearance at Wembley on Thursday, and while critics feel commemorating Rooney’s achievements in such a way devalues not only the game but also the honour of representing England, Sarachan has no concerns over the DC United striker playing his part.

Asked what he thought of the move to include Rooney and pay tribute to his career, the interim coach replied: “If he scores against us tomorrow I won’t be happy about the decision!

“I have thought about it because I know it has caused controversy. My feeling on that is maybe a little different.

“I think a player like Wayne Rooney who had such a terrific international career, in the league but in terms of his national team, to have an opportunity to reward him for that as a federation, I kind of applaud that.

“I don’t think it devalues the game. I would think different if Wayne had retired from football three years ago and they said, ‘Hey, why don’t you just jump in’, but he is coming off the back of a very impactful season in the States.

“He is fit, I’m sure he will not be out of place, he is in good form. Given all of that, I think when you have the opportunity to reward a player like that – I don’t think that is a bad thing at all.”



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