Former England striker Gary Lineker thinks too much is made of the captaincy role. The 55-year-old TV host has questioned the "English obsession" with captaincy after interim boss Gareth Southgate was grilled about Wayne Rooney's role.

The Manchester United striker has retained the armband for his country following Sam Allardyce's abrupt departure last week. However, Lineker – who scored 48 goals for the Three Lions during an eight-year international career – thinks the media and the public dramatically overestimate the importance of the job.

"The English obsession with the captaincy is bizarre," Lineker tweeted. "It's purely an off-the-field role. Doesn't make a blind bit of difference in games."

He added: "In football all the decisions are made by the coach/manager. The captain has no say. It's a great honour but has little influence."

Linker's tweets prompted one social media user to respond with a picture of a screaming Roy Keane during his time at United.

But Lineker refused to back down, saying Keane's playing ability was a greater inspiration to his United teammates than how vocal he was on the field. "Such an embarrassingly British response. Let's all see who can shout the loudest. He could play, which is much more inspirational," he said of the former United skipper.

Southgate, meanwhile, has claimed that Rooney was the obvious choice to lead England during their World Cup qualifying game against Malta on October 8. "The decision to make him captain is quite simple," Southgate said of the United forward, according to The Guardian. "What I felt from what I have seen around St George's, what I gleaned from talking to staff over the two years, is that he is the outstanding leader in the group.

"The most important thing at this time is leadership, on and off the field, and Wayne has provided that over the last two years. The way he has matured into that is really impressive. I have no doubt in my mind about keeping him in that position."