March 15th, 2011

Armband Antics: The England Captaincy Issue

Someone looking over your shoulder, Rio? Image: Reuters/Daylife

The ongoing saga of the England captaincy ish took another exciting turn this week. For those of you who have been focussing on matters you find more interesting (such as erosion in action, paint drying and Robbie Savage’s career after football), the deal is that current incumbent Rio Ferdinand has been poorly sick for most of his tenure and consequently the armband is being passed around like a bottle of Cristal at a Kickette brainstorming session.

Rumour has it that Fabio Capello (left) was particularly unhappy during England’s friendly with Denmark when the armband ended up making the journey between Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry before ending up with Ashley Cole. We actually have no problem with this, having frequently wondered whether firearms might be the threat

Image: Reuters/Daylife

needed to get England players motivated on the pitch, but Fabs isn’t down with it. Apparently, he intends to return the armband to the man he controversially stripped of it some eighteen months ago, John Terry.

What do you think, Kickettes? Has this whole farrago devalued the captaincy? Does the captaincy matter a damn when a team so consistently fails to live up to its potential? And was it right that Terry’s alleged off-the-pitch behaviour led to the stripping of the armband in the first place?

Tell us.

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73 Responses to “Armband Antics: The England Captaincy Issue”

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  6. JaneSpotting says:

    JT deserves the armband. It should never have been taken away. What is Capello? The morality police? And Rio F..he is free of sin? LOL Never mind Cole. JT is a true born leader. Stripping him of the armband has been bad bad luck ever since, just look at the result of this.
    Cannot stand Capello for what he did. He ruined World Cup for England too by doing this.

  7. laligaforladies says:

    If they're having so much trouble deciding, they should just do like Spain and give it to the player with the most caps. Which is first Beckham, then Gerrard.

  8. Crackers says:

    I agree with you. The Guardian (which is a legit, well-regarded newspaper) would NEVER have published her account of the matter if they had proof that she'd had an affair with JT.

    It's still awful how a pile of what were basically unsubstantiated rumours in the tabloids ended up giving her a hard time though.

    • Cara says:

      So did The Sun, The Star etc write her account of the matter and there end of the line gutter papers. People will publish it because its a story that will get people involved and interested, not because of its creditbility. They also knew the larger the story, the more people buying your paper there will be.

      You could say the last part about everyone thats gone through cheating scandals and they still get a hard time. What difference does it make? None imo.

  9. Leaaa says:

    ok here goes:
    I don't think it's our place to say what the other players feel about Terry because we don't know them.
    I don't think Capello is giving off the right signals by going back on his decision.
    I don't really see all the importance of this anyway; what does the capatin really do except lift the trophy and choose in the coin toss? It could be Rooney for all I care

  10. athenarena says:

    Sorry to hear this guy is getting the armband back. I am just lucky here in Ireland that the two that do get it here the most are decent wonderful guys -Robbie Keane and Shay Given. Duff and Dunne have worn it before and I have never minded it at all. All four are great lads and I am blessed -after seeing your saga, anybody want a brownie?- that my lads -especially with Ireland gone- stay out of the papers except for their football careers. Mostly. (Keane, sold his wedding photos and Given is seen at Man City formal events)

    Unfortunately, the two I would cheer the most to get the English NT armband Ferdinand and Gerrard are both injured. Both although had altercations in the past have only been seen in recent times as the model of English football and actually can lead teams. I mean, they both do it often on a regular basis and have tons of international and national experience. Gerrard would my numero uno. Yes, I am a Toffee but I have huge respect for Gerrard. He has -from what I have seen- been cordial and respectful to us and is a wonderful father and partner.

    With Capello's hands tied, he has to go for Terry. If he goes for Cole, he become an even bigger laughing stock. Terry is the lesser evil of the two. Hopefully, he puts in the 200% on the pitch for the HONOUR of being named captain and shows he deserves it. I frankly, do not have time for either or time for cheaters. But, I hope it works out well for you all English Kickettes. I really do.

    All the best,

  11. Mumtaz says:

    the captain could be anyone. as long as he is the one who get respect from the team

    • leaaa says:


    • Cindy says:

      is there even any consensus on who on that team actually garners respect? disappointing bunch, the whole lot of them. give it to Gareth Barry, who cares, no one has respect for the team. definitely don't give it back to John Terry though

  12. Give it to Steven G. I love the way his Liverpool teamates look up to him. I'll tell you what I think of Ashley Cole…the mall is open, but nobody is shopping…

  13. Denisea says:

    Gerrard yes, Terry no way.

  14. lyricm9 says:

    give it to Terry already ('',)

  15. Miss XOXO says:

    Team Terry always!

  16. come on ladies ( this ain't about looks or anything like that) England needs a leader and that leader is Terry he is a natural leader ( like seriously Terry is no follower) even with out the captain armband Terry always looks like the boss out in the field

  17. YvoYeungGirl says:

    JT should not have the armband back. Stevie G deserves it. But they need to start looking for younger players to build up to eventually fill up the role after 2012.

  18. Winnie Mata says:

    i'm not even english, but i agree

  19. xoWinnie says:

    to everyone who disagrees with this decision
    (i personally think this has been one of Capello's best in recent months)
    who can name someone else who:

    a) has been for the MOST part healthy enough to play
    b) has enough international experience to lead this team
    c) is a talented key-player on the team
    d) is over the age of twenty-five

    that list pretty much excludes most of the team.
    Lampard would be a good choice, but he's made it clear many times
    before that he prefers not to have a leadership role.

    Rio and Steven are just not reliable in terms of their health,
    and if the team really had a problem with this, i doubt Capello would make it so.

  20. xbabyshakesx says:

    STEVIE G for the win!!!

  21. Emily says:

    i'm torn. it's like, I want what's best for the team, but my outside fangirl position doesn't really enable me to make an accurate or fully informed judgement (as much as it pains me to admit it.) So, if he really if the man for the job, great. But it feels weird cuz I really don't like him (fairly or unfairly)

  22. Ana says:

    As I'm not English, I won't pretend I understand the legacy of the vitality of being the English captain, however, what truly boggles my mind is the comments by Capello. What sort of PR policy is it, short of childish and redundant, that one would lay out his plans before respectfully conversing with those involved? His answers were that he was GOING to talk to Rio, he was GOING to talk to the team, he was GOING to make the decision yet JT is his man & as Brooks pointed out over on Dirty Tackle- if he doesn't stick with what he will decide then his mental capacities are questionable. I would argue that exhibiting this show of disrespect calls it under expection a bit earlier…

    And now I'm ranting. I imagine I don't understand the full story & try not to have such opinions prematurely- however if this is the case as presented then so be it. I earnestly would more than happily be wrong if it spared all players involved the humilation of his words.

    And I'm finished. Except this- Go Steven! :)

  23. Sharon H. says:

    It seems that many are missing the point – Rio & Stevie G are (always) injured so a new captain needs to be chosen. I think you would be hard-pressed to find a player who doesn't have some kind of fault that would make him less than the ideal role model, i.e. Rio and the drug issue, Stevie G & the bar brawl. So, the captaincy should be decided based on how a player acts on the pitch and this is where JT beats everyone hands down. His dedication to club and country cannot be denied. And the way he handled himself in Denmark when the armband was passed around like a hot potato speaks volumes about his character.

    • FloraJane says:

      What she said!

    • xoWinnie says:

      lol thank you, person with common sense!

    • Dia says:

      Gerrard is not always injured. he was the only england player to play EVERY SINGLE GAME last year. Just because he's injured now doesnt mean he's ALWAYS injured. i agree with you about the whole everyone has a fault but i dont think thats the point right now, if it didnt matter then capello shouldn't have taken it away from Terry in the first place, but because he did, handing it back just makes him look like he doesnt know what he's doing and makes him look like a joke for taking it away from terry in the first place.

  24. TheAmethyst007 says:

    I know this has been said before, and my opinion is heavily biased…but of course it has to be STEVEN GERRARD.

  25. KickChick says:

    Ashley Cole? really? dumber than a bag o' hammers on and off the pitch. Gerrard, Rooney, Lampsey, Barry, even Rooney, or back to JT, but not Ashley.

  26. mochara says:

    I personally think Lamps should get it as Terry is a bit….. er well, you know! But who am I to say anything about it, I'm not English……

  27. Jess says:

    Capello is stoopid, there’s no sense in his actions…he has this weird infatuation wid beckham being part of his team, even if he’s the ‘lucky waterboy’.. the armband though, should definitely go to stevie g

  28. Amy says:

    Let's see – you can give the armband to the cheater who shoots people, the cheater who jokes about 9/11 and is an all around trash bag, or Steve Gerrard. Quite frankly, I will respect the England NT much less if it goes to anyone BUT him! (Sorry if I've offended anyone, this news angers me.)

  29. nandosfreckles says:

    helloo??? Steven Gerrard?

  30. Elisa says:

    Tough decision, mainly because, in my opinion, most of the older guys on the English NT probably don't deserve to be called Captain of England, at least attitude-wise. I think that Capello is at fault here as well. He was clearly trying to make some sort of statement by taking the armband away from Terry, and he should stick to it.

    I think that Stevie is still England's best option when he's healthy. The captain should deserve the respect of his team and the fans, so in that way, I think that behavior off of the field does matter. England is where football was born. Captaining it's national team is a huge honor. Therefore, the armband shouldn't go to someone who's been all over the papers for cheating on his wife and sleeping with prostitutes.

  31. Crackers says:

    Didn't Vanessa Perroncel firmly deny- in print!- that she'd had the supposed affair with John Terry that led to the stripping of his captaincy? But I got the impression that the team as a whole had lost faith in him because of the way he handled the situation, and that was why Capello stripped him of the armband- in which case, it'd be the height of idiocy to give it back.

    It doesn't help the team that Rio Ferdinand has been so plagued by injury and Stevie G (the next best candidate for the job when fit) is, well, not healthy right now. But this game of passing the parcel with the captain's armband has got to stop, it's really getting to be a farce now.

    • Cara says:

      She could of denied it in Cornflakes if she had of wanted to but there was no proof to back her denial. At least there was a picture of them together somewhere which was more then she had for her denial…

      • xoWinnie says:

        why should they not be pictured together? they both admitted they were friends.

        • Cara says:

          Then why did Wayne & Terrys wife throw a hissy fit? They can be pictured together all they want but it looks fishy when theres not partners around as to why they are together. I mean you dont see Alex Gerrard and Jamie Carragher casually stolling around Liverpool together without their familys do you?

          • xoWinnie says:

            ummm….because they used the pictures as "proof" to claim they were having affair?
            and maybe they would if Steven and Alex were to suddenly split?
            Toni spent a lot of time with Vanessa after the split as well,
            and no one ever seems to mention that!

    • Leaaa says:

      this is very true, it seems like some people don't understand that:
      a) she was Bridge's EX at the time
      b) she still denies the affair

      I don't back Terry or anything but I actually think that other England players antics have been worse

      • Cara says:

        Of course she denies the affair if there was one, its not exactly something you would own up to is it because you felt like it? And Wayne was Johns BEST FRIEND! It doesnt matter whether they were dating at the time, its the principal of best friends and marriage that 1) you dont cheat on your wife and family and 2) you dont do it with your best friends ex girlfriend with whom they have a child.

        Exactly Toni spent alot of time with Vanessa after her split from Wayne right? So how do you think that made Toni feel when all the rubbish about John & Vanessa came out then knowing that she had supported her through the hard times? Like rubbish.

        Also its funny that when people like Ashley Cole or Wayne Rooney have done it without any clear cut proof then people are hitting the roof and what not but yet just because these 2 have denied it suddenly means that oh its not true? I know that Wayne and Ashley have cheated etc etc but it doesnt mean that people can get angry over one set and feel placid about another…

        • xoWinnie says:

          i don't feel placid about this.

          i do think JT did it. just for the simple fact that he's done it before, and he said nothing really in terms of his defense when this story broke. HOWEVER, as someone hoping to study journalism, i realize that this is the kind of story that catches like wildfire. no concrete proof, tons of ambiguous facts that may or may not have been fabricated, and a party with an already stained reputation, who's failure to comment only adds fuel to the fire. had neither of them said anything, "new details" would be emerging about this story every other week till now even!

          methinks the lady doth protest too much as far as Vanessa goes, but as far as anyone knows, she could be telling the truth! there was a retraction (which no one cared about) printed to clear her name and she received a large out-of-court settlement apparently. that means someone was definitely lying about something, and it was not her or John.

  32. Jen says:

    You can't give back something that's already gone……half the camp doesn't respect Terry for his antics, and half the team doesn't care. He(JT) split the team with his actions, Stevie can unite them, create a sense of togetherness….to take that away is just cruel. I know it's not optimal to pass the armband around to all sorts….nearly gagged when I saw A. Cole and Barry wearing it. We need Stevie to be fit (for both club and country) and for him to lead us into Euro 12 with pride and dignity!!!

  33. bri_saldana says:

    A healthy Stevie G, In my opinion, should put this debate to rest

  34. Red_Girl says:

    Capello has made himself a laughing stock. What a kick in the teeth for Ferdinand and Gerrard. How low will morale be from this mishandling. Personally I hope my Stevie retires from international duty now – having saved Capello's job against Hungary, he's now treated like rubbish. Concentrate on 'pool, Stevie – we love you. And Rio – I hate Manchester United but you shouldn't have to put up with this.

  35. Cara says:

    I think that on principal that he took it away from Terry for his off field antics even though they hold no bearing of his on the field stuff, I think Capello is making a BIG mistake in giving it back to him. Whether he thinks its the right thing or not, surely taking it away from him and seeming to the general public that Capello was "genuinely" disgusted with Terry's actions and then a year later going "Woops, made a mistake here you go its yours again" makes him look like a fool imo.

    He knew about Ferdinand's injury problems before he gave him the captaincy and to take it away from him without letting him come back to full fitness and from various media reports telling Ferdinand one thing and then the next day doing the exact opposite is spiteful.

    If I was Capello I'd give it to Steven Gerrard. He is a natural leader for Liverpool and when he's captained England before (ignoring the shocking world cup) he's done really well and the teams looked better for it.

    But under no circumstances would I give it back to Terry.

    Sorry for the rant.

  36. Summer says:

    I've always has a strong passion for JT and for all that he's I love him as man and as player much more everyday. I've never doubted that one day he will be NT captain again. He's a natural leader, strong player, one of the best defender of the world, a player that when is on the pitch gives soul and heart, a player that is ready to die for his team. Rio, I'm sure, because I've seen him so many times, has also this quality, but I think although this that John has something more that make him special. Yes in the past he made a huge mistake, but like William Shakespeare says "It's better to be vile than vile esteemed". Everyone has made mistakes and so I don't know why we have to judge John like if that he did was the end of the world. I'm very proud of John. I want to say also few words from latin writer Seneca "Multa bona nostra nobis nocent; timoris enim tormentum memoria reducit, providentia anticipat; nemo tantum praesentibus miser est"

  37. sarah says:

    Personally, I think Capello's mishandled the entire thing from the getgo. This whole back-and-forth issue is detracting from the real issues facing England's squad–like how they're going to do better in the Euros this time around. If he was going to take the captaincy from Terry, he should have done it for good. If not, then he still shouldn't be spreading it around in the press like this, because it puts all three of the players involved (Terry, Ferdinand, and Gerrard) under public scrutiny.

  38. black widow says:

    give it back to becks :( (i know, i know … but a girl can dream, right? :( )

  39. hereforthenando says:

    I don't really have an answer to this, because I don't know how the team actually feels about it. I think that who you are off of the pitch can definitely matter, because if you're a douchebag that no one can respect, why would they respect you on the field? If Terry's actions have no bearing on the other players' feelings towards him as a captain, and they really think that he's the man for the job, then sure, give him back the armband.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of John Terry, and I don't really love the thought of him being captain. But then again, I'm not on the team, so my feelings on the issue aren't really important.

  40. Winnie Mata says:

    i'm glad. what he "allegedly" does off the pitch does not impact his ability to lead.
    it was a foolish decision (among MANY) on Capello's part
    Wayne Bridge reacted selfishly and unprofessionally to a rumour, and cost his country a player
    (newspapers settled out of court with the lady and printed retractions, remember?
    even if the story was true, they apparently had no concrete proof)

    JT is a great leader (both at Chelsea and on England, IMO)
    and the saga of the floating armband has done nothing short of highlighting that fact.
    good for John, i say! maybe with one less problem,
    England may finally be able to get their act together.

    • Anna says:

      It does affect his ability to lead if his teammates are divided about his actions. A captain needs to have the respect of all the players to be effective and Terry did not seem to have that anymore. If the story was true the Wayne Bridge had every right to act the way he did as did Capello in stripping Terry of the armband. The trouble is because of Terrys womanising history, the media, public and teammates were more likely to give credence to the rumours of an affair and thus create a division about him in the team.