Manchester United manager David Moyes has been impressed by the manner in which Wayne Rooney has led by example during this turbulent campaign.
The 28-year-old appeared keen to leave Old Trafford last summer but has since signed a new five-year deal and was handed the armband for Saturday’s trip to West Ham.
Rooney blossomed with the added responsibility and moved third in United’s all-time goalscorers list with two goals in the 2-0 win, with the first a 58-yard strike reminiscent of David Beckham’s famous goal against Wimbledon in 1996.
He will again be United’s talisman in Tuesday night’s Old Trafford derby against Manchester City.
“Wayne has led by example all season,” Moyes said of his frontman. “Maybe wearing the armband, taking a wee bit of pride in wearing that, to show exactly what it means.
“He wants to take responsibility and I think you always want players who take responsibility.
“It’s that sort of magic why you talk about the top players so much.
“Wayne scores two goals at West Ham and that’s why, players of this ilk, you write about and talk about more than many others.”
Rooney’s man-of-the match display at Upton Park will have no doubt boosted his chances of becoming United skipper.
The England international recently spoke of his desire to lead both club and country – something that may well happen at Old Trafford at least with current United captain Nemanja Vidic moving to Inter Milan in the summer.
Back-to-back wins have brought renewed confidence and will likely prove a timely shot in the arm ahead of the derby clash with City.
“If we play as well as we did at West Ham then we will make opportunities, we’ll make chances,” Moyes said.
“If we play with the same heart as against Olympiakos we’ll be very hard to play against.”