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
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
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

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all