Wayne Rooney improves chances of being handed Manchester United captaincy on full-time basis

If the manager wants me to be captain, I’d have no problem with that. I’d grab it with both hands

Leading from the front in every sense at West Ham on Saturday has improved Wayne Rooney’s chances of becoming Manchester United’s captain next season.

His manager, David Moyes, who badly needed a second victory of the week to remove some of the growing pressure from his hunched shoulders, was impressed by the way Rooney went about his work, including the touch of genius that brought the first of his two goals in the 2-0 win.

It was not the first time the England striker has taken the armband but the honour will be available on a permanent basis from the end of this season, when Nemanja Vidic leaves for Internazionale. With Patrice Evra likely to go too and Rio Ferdinand no longer a regular starter, Rooney will be a clear candidate. There has even been a suggestion that the captaincy was dangled as an added carrot in negotiations for the four-year contract extension he recently signed.

Rooney had previously told the club magazine Inside United: “I’ve captained a few times for United and if the manager wants me to be captain, I’d have no problem with that. I’d grab it with both hands.”

Moyes said no decision would be made until the end of the season but added: “Maybe he wore the armband and took a wee bit of pride in that. He wanted to show exactly what it means and he wanted to take responsibility. It’s for him to show it and you’d have to say he showed it.”

Evra and Ferdinand will be back in contention for tomorrow night’s derby at home to Manchester City, although Moyes, a former centre-half, was impressed by how well Michael Carrick did in that position at Upton Park. It was something the watching England manager, Roy Hodgson, may also file away for future use.

Olympiakos and West Ham may have been less demanding opponents than City will be, but in achieving two wins without conceding a goal Moyes believes United will have won some renewed belief. “We go in showing that, if we play as well as we did today, then we’ll make chances,” he said. “If we play with the same heartbeat we showed against Olympiakos, then we’ll be very hard to play against. City and Liverpool have been really good going forward throughout the year, that’s why they have found themselves at the top of the league. So we have to be mindful of that, we have to have a balance of attacking and defending.”

Rooney’s volley from just inside the West Ham half may have won the acclaim but his second goal was just as important in subduing the home side. As Gary Neville tweeted: “West Ham was always a ground where you felt something stupid could happen when we were playing there!”

There was never any danger of that this time and Sam Allardyce admitted that his side have “put ourselves in a little danger again”. They face Hull City and Sunderland in the next eight days, needing to rediscover  last month’s fine form after three successive defeats.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links