• Premier League

Moyes drops Rooney captaincy hint

ESPN staff
March 24, 2014
Wayne Rooney captained Manchester United against West Ham © Getty Images

David Moyes has dropped his biggest hint yet that Wayne Rooney will take over the captain's armband next season after insisting the striker proved he is ready to lead Manchester United.

Captaining United in the absence of the suspended Nemanja Vidic, Rooney scored both goals in United's 2-0 win at West Ham on Saturday, the first a stunning volley from just past the halfway line.

His two strikes took Rooney to third in United's all-time scoring list with 212 goals, 25 behind Denis Law and 37 off Sir Bobby Charlton's record.

With Vidic agreeing to join Inter Milan in the summer and vice-captain Patrice Evra also possibly on his way out of Old Trafford, Moyes is set to name Rooney as United's new captain next season.

Moyes said: "Wayne has led by example all season. He wants to take responsibility and I think you always want players who take responsibility.

"He took pride in wearing the armband and showed exactly what it means. Even if you're a player out of the team suddenly you can get a chance.

"Or if you become a key player and get the chance to wear the armband you take it on. Wayne did that. It's for him to show it and you'd have to say that he showed it."

In front of a watching David Beckham at Upton Park, Rooney's 58-yard opening goal was from an almost identical spot where the former England captain struck in August 1996 with a long-range shot that looped over Neil Sullivan in the Wimbledon goal at Selhurst Park.

"It's that sort of magic which makes you talk about the top players so much," Moyes added.

"That's why you talk about Robin van Persie, because he scored a magnificent hat-trick in the Champions League [against Olympiakos] in midweek.

"Wayne scores two goals at West Ham and that's why players of his ilk are talked about more than many others."

The derby against Manchester City at Old Trafford is next up for United having put back-to-back wins together following the 3-0 home humbling by Liverpool just over a week ago.

However, Moyes is refusing to claim his side have turned a corner. He said: "We go in after a better showing. If we play as well as we did at West Ham we will make opportunities.

"If we play with the same heartbeat we showed against Olympiakos then we'll be very hard to play against.

"I thought we played really well against West Ham on the back of a good result in midweek and I just hope I can keep that going.

"I'm not going to shout about it, I'm going to say that hopefully we're starting to pick up and play better."

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