The FA announced this morning that caretaker manager Stuart Pearce has named Scott Parker as captain of England for tonight’s friendly against Netherlands at Wembley (live on FOX Soccer at 3pm ET).
It’s fitting that Parker was named by Pearce. Parker personifies everything about Pearce’s qualities as a footballer. Pearce was the type of footballer who played with pride for his country, always gave 100% and sometimes sacrificed his body to fly into challenges to either block shots or commit necessary tackles. He was England through and through. Someone who would have done anything for his country. Someone you can believe in.
Parker fits the same role. There’s no doubt that Parker is a quality player who takes tremendous pride playing for his nation. He’s the type of man who will rise to the occasion of being an England captain, even if it’s just for a friendly. If a fellow teammate isn’t giving his all for his country, Parker is the type of person who would give him an earful of abuse. Playing such an important role in the centre of midfield, as a defensive midfielder, Parker is perfectly positioned to have a major impact on any game that England plays. And he will make the team rise to the occasion.
Parker is not a popular decision, by any means. Club patriotism gets in the way of pragmatism when it comes to picking an England captain. Liverpool supporters will argue that Steven Gerrard should be captain (even though the midfielder has said that he has debated retiring from England international duty after Euro 2012). Manchester United supporters will argue that Wayne Rooney should wear the armband. Joe Hart is the pick of many Manchester City supporters. Chelsea fans want Ashley Cole picked. And so on, and so forth. But what we sometimes forget is that the England captain should be for the good of England, not for the good of our clubs. Scott Parker is the perfect person to step into the captain’s shoes tonight. He’s a born leader who will do England proud.
Best of luck to you, Scott Parker.