Steven Gerrard Handed Captain's Armband
I don’t think this is a shock to anyone.
Liverpool’s local hero had been the skipper in John Terry’s absence in the fateful Euro 2008 qualifiers against Russia and Croatia last year and with Terry injured AGAIN, Gerrard was the odds-on favorite to lead England out today in their friendly against Switzerland.
The only other choice was Manchester United center back Rio Ferdinand, but Ferdinand isn’t even club captain and was responsible for organizing the Christmas party at which Jonny Evans, now on loan at Sunderland but with the Red Devils at the time, was accused of rape.
To be clear, Capello hasn’t named Gerrard permanent captain and won’t name a permanent captain until England’s first World Cup qualifier in September, against Andorra. Until then, there will likely be a rotation involving Gerrard, Terry (when healthy), and possibly Ferdinand.
If you ask me though, Steven Gerrard would be the right man for the job. Many readers think I have a bias towards Liverpool, which is far from the case, but trust me, I know a leader when I see one. Gerrard has put the Reds on his back on numerous occasions, most notably the famous come-from-behind victory over AC Milan in the Champions League final in Istanbul in 2005. He clearly inspires his teammates whenever he’s on the field, and Capello said as much yesterday:
“I won’t be picking a permanent captain for the time being but at the moment I think Steven Gerrard is important for everyone because he is a player who can motivate other players and transmit ideas,” said Capello.
I believe Gerrard should be the full-time captain, with or without John Terry in the lineup. I have a feeling the former will receive that honor as well, although a string of unimpressive performances at the international level could mean otherwise and Gerrard hasn’t exactly lit it up for England in recent games.