Wayne Rooney is excited to be leading England into a new era –one which the newly-appointed captain is determined will be a success.
A decade on from announcing himself on the international scene as a fresh-faced teenager at Euro 2004, the 28-year-old will tonight lead the Three Lions out at Wembley.
The international friendly with Norway will not be the first time Rooney has worn the armband, but his 96th cap will be his first as permanent captain, having replaced Steven Gerrard following his international retirement in the wake of a calamitous World Cup campaign.
Nine weeks on, this match marks the start of a new chapter for Roy Hodgson’s side and, while the post-Brazil hangover means Wembley will only be half full, England’s new captain hopes they can soon win around fans.
“It’s a great honour to captain my country, something I’m extremely proud of,” Rooney said.
“I want to be successful, I want to be a successful captain, and I want this team to be successful.
“I am sure all the team want that, we’re working hard to try and get there. (Today) is the start of a new chapter.
“We have to put the summer behind us. We were all, obviously, very disappointed.”
Injured Jack Colback, one of four new faces in the squad, will not be making his senior debut tonight while Arsenal newcomer Danny Welbeck is a doubt after sustaining a knock in training.
Leeds United have suffered a blow in their search for a new head coach with leading target Oscar Garcia taking over at Championship rivals Watford.
The Spaniard, 41, was confirmed as the Hornets’ new head coach yesterday with his representatives having spoken to both the Hertfordshire club and Leeds about positions at both clubs.
Former Watford head coach Guiseppe Sannino is one of a number of leading contenders for the Leeds post, along with Swindon Town manager Mark Cooper – son of Leeds great Terry – current caretaker manager Neil Redfearn and ex-West Brom head coach Steve Clarke.
Aston Villa have completed the season-long loan signing of Tom Cleverley.
Villa made a u-turn late on Monday to sign the Manchester United midfielder on loan after initially pulled the plug on a permanent deal for Cleverley.