Football: England’s captaincy candidates

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England are expected to name their new captain when manager Roy Hodgson announces his latest squad on Thursday but who is in contention for the armband? Former skipper Terry Butcher gives his verdict…
Terry Butcher: “For me, there is one outstanding candidate and the rest just make up the numbers. There does not seem to be any competition for that one outstanding candidate, Wayne Rooney. He is the person I would have as England captain and I think it would give him a boost when it comes to the European Championship and the next World Cup. I feel it is time for him to step up to the plate, wear the armband and lead your country, because everyone expects him to do well. I think it would give him responsibility. Give him extra pressure and Wayne thrives on that pressure.”
Sky Bet say: “Rooney is a huge favourite and has attracted over half of the stakes in our market despite being odds-on since we opened betting. We were actually forced to suspend betting due to the backing he attracted after Manchester United made him club captain and, while we have now reopened the market, with the 28-year-old is just 1/8 to be named England captain.”
Terry Butcher: “He is a player who has grown within the role. He has matured and improved enormously. Yes, he has made mistakes but I think he has learnt from those mistakes. As England’s last line of defence, he is pretty imposing. He has got competition for his place but I think he thrives on competition, too. You see the characters in the team and you have to be a really strong character to be England captain.”
Sky Bet say: “Hart is our third favourite in the market at 14/1, drifting from his initial price of 9/2 with just over 10 per cent of stakes on him being handed the armband.”
Terry Butcher: “He has improved and he has improved with England as well. He is not a natural captain. I do not know if he is a natural leader but he has got a presence about him. He is a big centre-half, he goes and heads the ball. He takes the ball, makes crunching tackles and he has formed a good partnership with Phil Jagielka.”
Sky Bet say: “Cahill is actually our biggest loser in the market with over 20% of stakes on him getting the role. He was third favourite at 12/1 when we opened the market but has been backed in, leapfrogging Hart into second favourite.”
Terry Butcher: “Phil is a leader on the pitch. [He is] normally a quiet man but he has not got that charisma an England captain normally has; the Gerrard, the Lampard or the Bryan Robson. But he is up there with Joe Hart and Cahill.”
Sky Bet say: “Jagielka is a longer price than the likes of Theo Wacott and Jack Wilshere at 25/1 having attracted nominal interest. It would be a major surprise if he got the job and a nice winner for us!”

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