Wayne Rooney has been named the new England captain by manager Roy Hodgson, who has selected a youthful Three Lions squad ahead of forthcoming clashes with Norway and Switzerland.
England's official Twitter account and Bleacher Report UK tweeted confirmation of Rooney's promotion:
Roy Hodgson confirms @WayneRooney as his New England captain— England (@england) August 28, 2014
The FA's website lists Hodgson's latest squad, which features Calum Chambers, Fabian Delph, Jack Colback and Danny Rose:
England squad to face Norway and Switzerland:
Midfielders: Jack Colback (Newcastle United), Fabian Delph (Aston Villa), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)
Forwards: Rickie Lambert (Liverpool), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)
Rooney, who was recently given his club's armband by new manager Louis van Gaal, follows on from Steven Gerrard as the national side's leader. Former England international Terry Butcher believes it is the correct decision, as reported by BBC Radio 5 Live:
Hodgson outlined Rooney as the "obvious choice" ahead of England's opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland, per Henry Winter of the Daily Telegraph:
Hodgson confirms Rooney as captain of #eng.. "The obvious choice, he's prepared to accept the pressure and enormous responsibility"— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) August 28, 2014
The new captain has often been criticised in the past for a poor temperament. Hodgson expects Rooney to deal with the pressure, as tweeted by Rob Harris of The Associated Press:
Hodgson on captain Rooney's past issues: "He has that baggage with him and he will have to accept that as a further part of the pressure"— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) August 28, 2014
Rooney highlighted his happiness with the new role, as reported by the FA:
To be named as England captain is a dream come true for me personally and of course my family. It is something that I will take massive pride in doing.
As a kid I always loved watching a big England game on the television. Back then I had a burning ambition to play for my country. To be appointed captain is beyond my wildest dreams. I would obviously like to thank Roy and the coaching staff for having the belief and confidence in me to do the job.
Rooney's first challenge as skipper will be to aid England's resurgence after a dreadful World Cup campaign. Gerrard and Frank Lampard have called time on their international careers since the tournament in Brazil saw England return home without a win, as Hodgson looks to rebuild with new faces.
Delph (24), Colback (24), Chambers (19), Rose (24) and John Stones (20) have all been included to take on Norway. Stones is the only player out of this quartet to have received an international cap, although he and Delph flitted around the squad prior to the aforementioned summer tournament.
Stones is a no-nonsense defender who can slot in anywhere across the back line. He has impressed since being promoted to Everton's first team by Roberto Martinez, who continues to place his faith in the youngster.
He could be joined by Chambers, whose rise to the international scene comes on the back of his excellent start to life at Arsenal. The former Southampton man made the switch at the end of July and has already shone in his new surroundings.
Arsene Wenger's decision to move him from right-back into the centre has worked a treat, as Chambers' maturity, reading of the game and natural confidence have already seen him become an important member of the Gunners' defensive line-up. Indeed, the starlet's emergence has happened so quickly that he has yet to have represented Gareth Southgate's England under-21 side.
Wenger highly recommends the defender, as reported by Winter:
Colback has looked sharp during the early stages of the current season after moving from Sunderland to Newcastle. He is capable of battling against the best, taking shots from long range and generally making a nuisance of himself against bigger names. The tidy midfielder is rarely fazed and will add real energy to Hodgson's team.
The coach was even pleased to hear his player's nickname is catching on, per Winter:
Hodgson said he was impressed to hear that Colback had been called "the Ginger Pirlo". hmmm— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) August 28, 2014
Both Delph and Rose will be pleased to receive international recognition. The former has the potential to be extremely useful in Hodgson's midfield; Delph is a dogged worker and loves to tackle hard, while he also flaunts the technical ability to skip around opponents when in possession. He also provides a burst of pace that Gerrard, Lampard and many others haven't got.
Rose is perhaps in the squad by default, but he can underline his name with a decent performance. Leighton Baines remains the nation's first-choice left-back after Ashley Cole's retirement, while Luke Shaw and Kieran Gibbs would likely be ahead of Rose if they were fit.
Will England qualify as group winners for Euro 2016?
Wednesday's match provides the perfect opportunity for England's players, both established and fringe, to put themselves in Hodgson's thinking for the Euro 2016 qualifier away at Switzerland on Sept. 8. The opener is arguably the side's toughest match of the group, which also pits them against San Marino, Estonia, Slovenia and Lithuania.
Morale is likely low among England supporters, something the side can begin to put right against Norway. Expectations are suitably adjusted with Hodgson's men now sitting 20th in the FIFA World Rankings, 11 places behind Switzerland, their highest-ranked opponents of the competitive process during Euro 2016 qualification.
Rooney's leadership will certainly be put to the test during this campaign. Hodgson's emphasis on youth ensures the forward must dictate from the front. His work rate, willingness to contribute across the pitch and energy should set an excellent marker for the new players coming through, who need to quickly impress if they are to remain in the setup.