cap’n rio

What do you make of the appointment of Rio Ferdinand as England’s captain for tonight’s match against France? For one thing it shows yet again that Capello is his own boss. I admire the fact he’s dropped Terry from the role because he didn’t think his recent haranguing of the referee was appropriate behaviour for an England captain. It doesn’t necessarily mean Terry’s forever out of favour; as with Beckham’s re-selection for this squad (and after being dropped at Real) he’s prepared to be forgiving and pragmatic once the players have learned their lesson. It’s a bit schoolmasterish but hey, after the indulgence by Sven GE and the faux mateyness of Quiff McClaren, it’s exactly what these over-paid, self-absorbed and irresponsible footballers need. I don’t think anyone’s going to cross this guy lightly.

I realise the role of captain is largely symbolic in football but if, like me, you think the England captaincy has significance not just as a role model but also because the position has been held with distinction by many great former players, then the post-holder should be someone who can respect the role and command respect in it. To me Terry is a whole-hearted kind of player and probably a very good club captain, but he makes for a lousy England captain. Outside of the game his behaviour is boorish and I suspect if it wasn’t for football he’d probably be a thug. As for Ferdinand I’m not sure he has the capacity to comprehend the significance of his own actions sometimes. The missed drug testing and the Xmas party incident show him to be not necessarily a bad lad, just unthinking and irresponsible at times. I have to say though that his personal efforts to back anti-racism in sport, the anti-knife culture campaign and his work supporting disadvantaged kids in our inner cities and in Africa suggest that he is starting to take his responsibilities as a role model more seriously (or that he is being guided by some astute people). But let’s not be cynical, either way he is clearly growing as a person and the award of the England captaincy may be Capello’s most inspired move. It surely cannot be long before Sir Alex follows suit and makes him club captain at Old Trafford as Gary Neville’s career seems destined to be curtailed by injury and with Ryan Giggs no longer able to command a place in every game.

There may be other suitors for the England role of course; Stephen Gerrard is many people’s favourite for the role but whilst a tour-de-force on the field, he strikes me as lacking personality and confidence off the pitch, especially in the media spotlight. Lampard surely couldn’t command the role if he was uncertain to be selected. Owen is only 28 but surely gone as a force now. A and J Coles – I think not. Owen Hargreaves could handle the role extremely well I reckon but his place in the side is not guaranteed as at Man U. Woodgate – too dim and easily led, Richards – too inexperienced for now, James – a goalie is rarely the right man, Rooney – longer term I could see it happening but he remains too impetuous and hot-headed and needs to mature a bit. Beckham has had his day.

So I can see Ferdinand becoming the man in the forseeable future and just maybe becoming one of the very best at the job. Aye aye cap’n. What do you think?



7 thoughts on “cap’n rio

  1. Rio deserves it for his contribution to the English language in an interview after the captaincy was announced. He was talking about how he takes the armband from Giggs, who has “taken on the mantlepiece” during Neville’s absence. Wonderful.

    But I think he is an on field organizer in the way that Gerrard never can be (he’s too much a leader by example) while Terry is clearly an oik.

  2. hi john

    what a belting expression. i might start using that myself. it ranks up there with some of keegan’s classics.

    thanks for checking in


  3. Hi PP

    Like you, and John, I enjoyed the Rio soundbites – however, I still can’t get over the fact that he is so one dimensional (and the impresssion that he needs an army of helpers around him to manage his life, or at least to avoid a drugs test).

    Of the current squad, I have to hold out for an honest, capable, well respected figure…. no not Cashley-3D Yawn Foreplay- Cole (surprise surprise) but Gareth Barry.

    The more I see of the steady and reliable games this guy has for club and country, the more I think that he could become a Brian Robson type of character to the English game.

    Chin Chin


  4. good call pgob, i’d wrongly omitted Barry from my earlier assessment. he’s a bit like owen hargreaves – low-ish profile, unassuming, honest, reliable solid guy.

    they could both do it admirably but i wonder if their PR is strong enough to keep them high profile enough to be guaranteed automatic selection. it’s only in the last half dozen games that barry’s carved a role for himself after all. and he’s playing for an unfashionable side some would say.

    a bit sad that PR profile should count as much as ability but that’s the name of the game these days and why i think rio could be the man for the captaincy. he’s being expertly managed by somebody…!


  5. Pingback: another milestone « Pasta Paulie

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