Who Should Be England's Captain For the Brazil 2014 World Cup Campaign
Who would you pick?
Who would you pick as England's Captain for the duration of the 2014 World Cup campaign, vote now (Poll Below).
Wearing the armband for your country is a great honor, Beckham spoke very fondly of his first game as England captain and any good captain enjoys the extra honor and responsibility, but it is not just a meaningless symbol, the captain must act as a mediator and link between Players and Manager, they must be the ones who inspire the team in the face of adversity, lead by example and marshall the lines to ensure that every man, every link in the chain is holding its own and following the brief of the manager.
With that said, it is a big decision for any manager, who do you think should have the band for the duration of the 2014 campaign, both qualifying and actually competition. Here are a list of perhaps the main candidates;
Rooney is set to captain England in their fixture against San Marino 12/10/12 and has the advantage of being both young enough to forseeably feature in 2 or more England tournaments to come, whilst also being one of the longest standing player within the camp, giving him seniority despite his relative years.
Rooney is also seen by most people as England's star player, though some are left questioning this after his sub par peformances in recent international competitions, however it still stands that FIFA rates him alongside the upper echelons of Football, on par with the likes of much acclaimed Iniesta and not far behind that of Messi and Ronaldo.
There are suggestions that having the captaincy will help Rooney to feel loved again and that it might be exactly the spark he needs and only time will tell whether the added responsibility and prestiege would positively or negatively impact him.
Gerrard was the captain for the European 2012 campaign, he was also arguably their best player in the tournament, the thought has always been that to get the best out of Gerrard, we needed to make him as central and pivotal as he is as when he captains Liverpool.
For club he has proven to be a natural leader, his position on the pitch allows him to relay information and instructions to all players on the pitch easily. Along with Ashley Cole he is the longest standing player now within the England camp and this means that the others will have looked up to him in coming into the squad at their respective times.
Gerrard is a natural captain but will the fact that he will be 34 years of age in 2014, be seen as a benefit or will it go against him, in a Football climate that is experiencing a period of ageism, where fans and media alike are quick to write off players with advancing years and accelerate their slow exclusion from their respective squads. Hodgson may well wish to give the captaincy to a younger player, so that a legacy can be setup which can be carried into the 2016 European Championships, rather than having to reassign it once Gerrard inevitably retires from international Football after the 2014 World Cup.
Joe Hart, despite only relatively recently cementing his position within the team, has now unquestionably made the position his own and is non too shy to have a go at his defenders and players around him who have been in the camp longer than him. Hes a very vocal player, with bags of confidence and even over the clatter of the crowd can sometimes be heard marshalling his troops, especially during set pieces, it is this kinda of leadership and communication skills that would make Joe a great captain.
England could perhaps take note of the fact that the two finalists of the 2012 European Championships were captained by their goalkeepers, Italy led by Buffon and Spain led by Casillias, perhaps this is purely coincidence... perhaps there is more to it.
Joe's age means that he will be most likely the first name on the team sheet for years to come and as a Goalkeeper, is likely to exceed the lifespan of any of the outfield players and feature in many more tournaments to come, by appointing Joe as captain, Hodgson can rest easy knowing he will not have to reassign a captain for his whole duration as manager and beyond.
Ashley is the 2nd highest capped player currently within the England camp, second only to Steven Gerrard, this seniority alone makes him a candidate, however Ashley has never particularily expressed the skill sets that exemplify a captain and has no experience of it at Club level. He may also be considered too old for the role in the same way Steven Gerrard may be and is also under some pressure for his England spot, from Everton left-back Leighton Baines, his unprofessional conduct and the constant bad press that surrounds him may make Roy think twice before picking him.