Why Manchester City's Joe Hart should be the next England captain

The Manchester City keeper would provide leadership to a young England side.

After Steven Gerrard brought his international career to a close, England manager Roy Hodgson must name the Liverpool man's successor as captain of the Three Lions.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney is the bookies' favourite to be handed the armband, with Chelsea's Gary Cahill also in the mix.

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, however, is the man who should be given the nod.

The 27-year-old took over as England's number one after the 2010 World Cup and has never looked like relinquishing the position. Despite a dip in form for City last season he has been relatively solid between the sticks for his country, and he was tipped to take the armband as far back as 2012 by both players and pundits.

Unlike the other main contenders for the role, Hart's position in the England side is under no threat. It is imperative that the man to captain the Three Lions is guaranteed to start in every competitive game when fit, and there is no real chance of Ben Foster, Fraser Forster or anyone else taking the number one jersey any time soon.

For questions over Rooney's place in the team you only have to go back as far as this summer's World Cup. Plenty of pundits and England fans called for Roy Hodgson to drop the 28-year-old in Brazil, and it is debatable whether he should be handed the captaincy having under-performed for England in recent years.

Rooney's reputation could also prevent him from leading the side in the near future. He has let down the side with costly red cards against Portugal and more recently Montenegro, and is still viewed as a highly temperamental player. A short and rash temper is not the best quality in a captain.

Cahill would by no means be a poor choice, but he is far from an inspiring one. England's central defence was utterly exposed at the World Cup, and that cannot simply be blamed on Phil Jagielka.

Centre-back is an ideal position for a captain and Cahill has the potential to be a mainstay at the heart of the defence for England in years to come. But the Chelsea man could easily fall out of favour with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Steven Caulker and John Stones waiting in the wings.

Hart has shown that he can be a world-class goalkeeper, and a shot stopper on top form can inspire an entire team - that much was clear in Tim Howard, Keylor Navas and Guillermo Ochoa's performances in Brazil.

Hodgson's young side needs stability going forward as the exciting talents develop, and no player can provide that to the same extent as Hart. With the City man at the helm there will be no controversies in the near future over whether England's captain deserves a spot in the team, and with 43 international caps, Hart has the experience to take on the role.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch