• Steven Gerrard’s international retirement leaves vacuum
• ‘It does worry me a bit for England’s future,’ says Robson
Bryan Robson says there is no “standout” candidate to succeed Steven Gerrard as England captain, and the former Manchester United and England midfielder has admitted he is concerned by the fact there is no natural replacement.
Robson, who played for England 90 times and captained the side on 65 occasions, said: “There is no standout captain. Even a few years ago, you had the likes of John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Gerrard and Frank Lampard who could have been captain. There was a decision to be made over which one you would go with as captain because they were all strong candidates.
“Yes, it does worry me a bit for England’s future. We haven’t got an outstanding candidate for captain and that is a worrying sign.”
Asked about Wayne Rooney, who is vying with Robin van Persie to be named United captain by the new manager Louis van Gaal, Robson, speaking at an event in Los Angeles hosted by Bulova (Manchester United’s official timekeeper), said: “You look at it and it is a difficult one. You want somebody who is a talker on the pitch, somebody who can organise and I just think it is difficult for a forward to do that.
“But if you look at the England set-up at the moment, the candidates are probably Joe Hart, Gary Cahill, because he will be in the team, and Wayne Rooney. And the only one [of the three] who really stands out is Wayne. There is no other real candidate when you look at it.”
The fact that Rooney is not currently captain of United should not be a hindrance. “No, it doesn’t matter if you captain your club, it is about who is right for the job and who has the experience to be captain,” added Robson. “If Wayne was to be selected as captain, it might give him a real boost where he really feels he needs to lead by example.”