England manager Fabio Capello has selected Manchester United center back Rio Ferdinand to lead out the side in the Three Lions’ friendly in Paris tomorrow, which, given Capello’s desire to rotate the captaincy until World Cup qualifiers begin in September, wasn’t really a surprising choice to many people.
However, this is a guy who was suspended for eight months in 2003 for missing a drug test and isn’t even the permanent captain at his club. This is a guy who, as United’s captain around Christmastime, organized the infamous party that led to rape accusations being brought against Jonny Evans, who is now at Sunderland. This is a guy who has committed multiple driving offenses and has been banned from driving on four separate occasions. This is a guy who last year called a radio host a “faggot” live on the air in 2006.
This is the guy who will wear the captain’s armband for England? Come on.
After the game John Terry had against Arsenal on Sunday and given the fact that he is Chelsea’s captain and was England’s captain under Steve McLaren, he seemingly was the obvious choice. Guys like Gareth Barry, Villa’s captain, David James, Steven Gerrard, and even David Beckham, who has the fourth most games played as captain in England history, also should have been ahead of Ferdinand in the pecking order. I understand that Capello wants to rotate the captaincy and that’s fine, but England-France is a significant game with a long history and choosing Ferdinand just seems to devalue it a little bit.
Capello also confirmed today that Beckham will get his 100th cap against France, a well-deserved honor. With David Bentley playing so well at the moment, it’s unclear whether Beckham will start or be brought on as a substitute, but the latter wouldn’t take away from the 100th cap at all.
Congratulations to Ferdinand and Beckham on their respective milestones, and good luck to England tomorrow.