After 114 caps, 38 of them as captain, it what was ultimately a disappointing England career, Steven Gerrard has hung up his England boots to focus on his club career. With this in mind lets take a look at who the top 5 candidates are to replace the central midfield playmaker.

Daniel Sturridge

He may be a long shot candidate that no one is talking about but for me Sturridge should be handed the England armband. His confidence may come off as arrogance to some people but for me it is a refreshing sign of belief in his abilities. Sturridge has faith in his abilities and pushes himself to move forward.

Look at his career. At Manchester City he didn't feel he was being given the right opportunities to play so he move to Chelsea. At Chelsea he initially broke into the first team and was earning vast amounts of money. However, he found himself relegated to a bit part role and forced out onto the left wing when he played. Most young English players would have accepted this situation and simply cashed the check until they were eventually sold on the cheap to Aston Villa or West Brom. Just look at the examples of Scott Sinclair or Jack Rodwell. Instead Sturridge won a move to Liverpool where he formed one of the most deadly strike partnerships in European Football with Luis Suarez and forced his way into the England team as the starting number nine moving Rooney out of his favoured position.

In a England squad that has looked all to comfortable for too long Sturridge is exactly the sort of player that England need to shake things up.

Wayne Rooney

Some people think Rooney is overrrated. They argue that the striker isn't as good as Messi or Ronaldo or Ribery. Whilst Rooney may not be one of top two or three players in world football he is a the first name on the teamsheet for very good reason.

His goals in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup and the 2012 European Championships were crucial to England getting there. More than this though the positive factors in his favour are huge.vRooney has 92 international caps and is only 28-years-old. He is theoretically in the prime of his career. Rooney has looked his best when playing football with a kid in the park attitude.

Giving him the captaincy could spur him on to greater heights. Furthermore, the Manchester United star is the biggest name in the team. You might not think it should make a difference and in an ideal world it wouldn't but having Wayne Rooney as England captain is a marketing opportunity that the cash-hungry FA is not going to want to miss.

Gary Cahill

With Cahill playing regularly for Chelsea in both the Premier League and Champions League Cahill brings valuable experience to the England defence. Like Rooney at 28 years of age he is also at the peak of his career. Unlike Rooney though Cahill may be the safer choice. The chances of the Chelsea man getting sent off for doing something stupid aren't great.

Whereas if you were to give Rooney the armband there is the ever present danger of him doing something petulant and getting him self red carded.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Aged 20 giving the job to Oxlade-Chamberlain would be laying down a marker and saying that England are looking to the future. The thing is though there are excellent reasons for doing just this. England want to stress the importance of developing technically gifted players capable of receiving and distributing the ball under pressure. Chamberlain is one the most technically gifted players in not only the England squad but the Premier League. Oxlade-Chamberlain is also clearly a player that Roy Hodgson thinks very highly off.

He was included in the squad despite fitness concerns and kept in the squad despite getting injured before the tournament began.Finally, the Arsenal man is also something of a rarity in being articulate and confident in front of the media. In a the modern game of football with all its press commitments this has got to be a big tick in Oxlade-Chamberlain's favour.

Joe Hart

If you want to put the captaincy issue to bed for the next decade or more and build some continuity in the England dressing room then Joe Hart is the man to do just this. Goalkeepers can play at the highest level until their late thirties. Hart is only 27 and realistically has another decade at least as England's number one.

Furthermore, Hart wears his pride for playing for England very much on his sleeve. The utility of passion in international football may be overstated but it is worth something. Doubly so considering Harry Redknapp's headline grabbing comments that players did not want to play for England. Hart could be the man England need.