September 9th, 2010
Michael Ballack & Rio Ferdinand: Captain Conundrums
You want the armband, short stuff? Come n’ geddit… Michael Ballack & Philipp Lahm consider their options. Images: Reuters, AP Photo via Daylife
As aficionados of unspoken conflict and passive aggressive posturing (the unfortunate aftermath of several Kickette team building weekends and designer outlet scrambles) we are watching with interest as the unresolved captaincy situations in the German and English NT’s gently but inexorably escalate.
Prior to the World Cup you may recall that both Michael Ballack and Rio Ferdinand suffered injuries that prevented them from captaining their sides in the tournament. While they recuperated, Philipp Lahm and Steven Gerrard took on the armbands and while England didn’t exactly flourish in South Africa, their recent form in the Euro 2012 qualifiers has cemented Gerrard’s reputation as a leader on the field.
Lahm, meanwhile, is generally agreed to be exactly the kind of captain required for a young, dynamic squad going forward.
Now, with Ballack and Ferdinand returning to fitness, the question of whether the captaincies should be returned to them as a matter of course requires an answer. Both players have stated their intention to take back the arm band, and although in Ballack’s case coach Joachim Löw has confirmed the player will be captain when he plays, his favored team line up does not offer an obvious spot for Ballack to step into. Capello, meanwhile, has thrown the England situ wide open, stating that ‘the armband is not a priority for me’.
What do you think, Kickettes? Should the armbands be retained through merit or returned to their rightful owners? Does it even matter? Is it too early for drinks?