It’s a national trait that in England the captaincy of its football team is of such an importance that it can make both back and front page headlines. It is a wonderful honour, don’t get me wrong, but it has become an obsession that has actually proved a hindrance to their chances at major tournaments and has reportedly divided what is already a rather fractious dressing room.
It even had such ridiculous importance that the head coach, Fabio Capello, even quit his job over it.
John Terry had it then lost it to Rio Ferdinand after allegations about his private life. Then he regained it when Ferdinand suffered an injury, but in true Terry style lost it again when he was charged with allegedly racially abusing Rio’s brother Anton, in a game between QPR and Chelsea. You just couldn’t make it up.
This has left England without a captain again and it will be one of the first duties of the new manager to appoint one.
Obviously the choice of manager will have a huge effect on the outcome and if bookies favourite Harry Redknapp takes the job then it will surely be a toss-up between Scott Parker (6/4), who captained England in their last friendly verses Holland, or Steven Gerrard (17/10), who in many people’s eyes should have been appointed captain instead of both Terry and Ferdinand on the first place.
The juice in both their prices are non-existent and it isn’t even certain that Redknapp will take the job yet, so it’s very plausible that another manager like Martin O’Neill or Roy Hodgson will fancy another player to captain the side.
The other only alternative would be Joe Hart (10/1) but it is very unusual for a goalkeeper to be given the armband, although Hart is a born leader and would relish the opportunity despite his inexperience.
The most likely candidate logically though is Parker, especially if Redknapp, who made the midfielder captain at Spurs this season, decides that England is the job for him.