There’s Only One REAL Choice For England CaptainBy: Robert Reed | February 7th, 2012
When John Terry got the boot (again) as England Captain I was genuinely surprised that Steven Gerrard was considered the obvious choice to replace him.
Is it just me and my Tottenham bias ( which I try to curtail when writing these articles) or is Scott Parker not the outstanding candidate? The guy is a virtual prototype of what you look for in the ideal captain.
For starters, he is vocal. Very vocal. If anyone is screwing up or not pulling their weight he lets them know about it, but not in a Roy Keane ‘you f***ing w**ker!’ type way. In fact in the post match interviews after a miraculous second half comeback when he was with West Ham I heard every player put the turnaround down to Scott Parker’s rousing half time speech. They said it was inspiring, and the reason they won (don’t know what Avram Grant was doing at the time).
Just as importantly, Parker leads by example. An all action, body on the line, get stuck in like I am type of example. His man of the match award against Liverpool was richly deserved and shows what an asset he is when the chips are down and every man has to stand up and be counted. He puts me in mind a little of Stuart Pearce in that respect except he is all over the pitch whereas Pearce was confined to left back.
Which leads me to another point in his favour; he plays defensive midfield which is surely the best position for a captain. He is easily in contact with everyone and right in the centre of the action. It’s not vital, but it helps.
Lastly, he usually plays. Steven Gerrard is a good choice for England captain but it’s 50/50 whether he will even be on the pitch most of the time.
There are three reasons being given why Parker should not captain England; Gerrard is a better choice, that he is new to the team and that he doesn’t captain his club. I don’t think any of those reasons are valid.
Firstly I just completely disagree Gerrard is the better choice because I believe Scotty to have more of the qualities required and is more likely to play.
Secondly, being ‘new to the team’ is hardly the case. It may have taken Capello a long time to recognise his qualities but Parker made his England debut in 2003, and has represented the national team at every level from under 15’s to senior. He is hardly a kid, and is well known and respected by the whole squad. Besides, was it not only a little while ago that the ‘old faces’ such as Gerrard, Lampard, Terry etc were being blamed for England’s stagnation on the world stage?
Lastly the fact that he doesn’t captain Spurs. Granted, that would point to there being a possible weakness were it not for the fact that our captain is Ledley King.
There is surely no greater enigma in the Premier League than our Ledley. He doesn’t train, yet plays most Saturdays. He has no knee cartilage, yet outperforms those around him on a regular basis. In fact I believe that although none of the top clubs in this country would buy him because of the appalling situation with his knees, I don’t think any of them would wish to get rid of him if he were already at the club.
Ledley has earned the Spurs captaincy through his sheer dogged determination and dedication to the cause. Through that alone he leads by brilliant example and, although I think Scott Parker would ultimately make the better captain, in my opinion Ledley should keep the role until he hangs up his boots.
You may think this irrelevent. Some say it’s all about choosing heads or tails and not much else. You could be right. All I know is if I’m watching England trying to hang on to a 1-0 lead in some foreign field, with fifteen minutes on the clock and the tide turning against us I’d rather see Scott Parker rallying the troops than Steven Gerrard; quite possibly from the bench.
You can follow me on Twitter @RobertReedUK