Five England captain candidates as Southgate eyes ousting Rooney
Robbie Purves | 23 November 2016
Five Three Lions captain candidates
As caretaker England boss Gareth Southgate gets set for talks to become the full-time manager, rumoured to be this week, the former Three Lions player may look to stamp his own mark on this emerging side. So, Coral writers contemplate the options for next skipper and there are tasty England captain odds for punters to enjoy too!
Southgate is a man that was made captain of every club team he played for. So, he knows how to lead and what to look for in a captain.
The caretaker boss led both Aston Villa and Middlesbrough to League Cup glory in 1996 and 2004, respectively, as the armband wearer and, during his captaincy at Crystal Palace he won the First Division championship in 1994.
If anyone knows what and who a captain should be, it is Southgate.
Promoted from the Under-21s when Sam Allardyce was sacked, Southgate’s stamp could come in the form of removing the captaincy from Wayne Rooney, after losing his starting berth at Manchester United and controversy over apparent late night drinking sessions.
Here, we take a look at five potential England captains to replace Rooney…
Favourite to couple his Liverpool captain’s armband with England’s at 1/4 on Coral, Henderson is many fans’ first choice to become the nation’s next permanent captain.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side are flying currently, jostling for Premier League top spot. A huge part of this has been the energy and leadership shown by Henderson.
Playing every league game for the Anfield outfit this season, Henderson has been key to the Reds’ title tilt and transformation into division leaders.
Henderson also not only has club captain experience, but led the Under-21s with the armband.
The Chelsea centre back, part of the England squad since 2010, has racked up 51 caps since his debut. Cahill is known for his technical ability, powerful heading and good tackling. The former vice-captain Bolton Wanderers man also has an impressive goalscoring record from defence.
After a shaky start under new blues boss Antonio Conte, Cahill seems to have found his feet in a side that has kept a clean sheet in each of its last five fixtures.
However, the question is, can he lead his country? In 2014, he was named the Three Lions’ deputy to Rooney, after the international retirements of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. He has even be known to take the armband, as he did in 2015 during a 2–0 home win over Estonia in Euro 2016 qualifying.
With vice-captain experience for both club and country, Cahill could could be ready to take a step up, but not a certain starter for club or country and increasing in years, could fall behind a few in the pecking order. Cahill is 7/1 to become the next Three Lions permanent captain.
He may have had a truly awful Euro 2016 and been booted out of Manchester City by Pep Guardiola, but Hart remains in contention at 8/1.
Now in Italy with Torino on loan, he experienced a rocky start but has grown into his role in Turin. Something that may have caught Southgate’s eye in France during the Euros, was Hart’s vocal nature, desire and passion.
While others seemed to cower away from responsibility, Hart faced up to the nation’s embarrassing displays.
Hart has been captain previously for a single game in 2015, but the concern is the form he displayed in France, while playing at the highest level of international football. The Man City stopper made two howlers at the tournament and was a massive part of England’s bleak defeat to Iceland.
Dier became a favourite under Roy Hodgson and played every game at the Euros. His clever shielding of the back four has continued to impress for both club and country.
Schooled in Sporting Lisbon’s academy during his youth, it shows in his intelligent reading of the game and ease when stepping up on the international stage.
Dier is a player the Three Lions have lacked over the years and is extremely valuable. Although he has no experience of captaincy, you get the sense Dier is a character that could quite easily cope with the added responsibility.
At present, Stones may not be the most consistent and reliable centre back around, but his potential to grow into something special under Guardiola is clear to see.
His confidence on the ball often leads to sloppy turnovers in possession, but as he matures that should be cut out.
Stones will be a mainstay for both club and country for years to come and, if Southgate is truly looking to the future Stones could be an interesting choice.
However, does Southgate really want to pile more pressure on a player that has so far struggled when the going gets tough?
Stones is an outside bet at 16/1 to wear the permanent national armband next.
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