According to reports, Stuart Pearce has chosen Scott Parker as his captain for the friendly tonight against Holland. There's been much speculation in the media this week and the choice will surely spark more debate.
Scott Parker was named England's player of the year this week and that, along with now wearing the armband, marks a remarkable rise over the past year. He must now be favourite to lead the country into Euro 2012, especially if his club manager Harry Redknapp is England manager in the summer. Steven Gerrard may have been a more obvious choice but he was captain for the last World Cup and perhaps Stuart Pearce wanted the squad to move on from that.
Maybe Parker was always destined to be England captain, as this advert starring him as a child says - practice makes perfect.
England will face a tough challenge tonight against World Cup finalists Holland who are ranked third in world football, two places ahead of England. The side will look familiar to Premier League fans and supporters of the home team will hope Robin van Persie doesn't tear the defence apart, if he's fit, and Dirk Kuyt fails to get his second goal at Wembley in a week.
Holland are favourites with the bookmakers and rightly so, a victory for England would be impressive considering the players unavailable and uncertainty surrounding the squad. Whilst other countries are concentrating on preparing a settled team for Euro 2012, England don't have a full time manager.
Clearly an FA anti Steven Gerrard conspiracy ;)
To be honest, although I felt a little bit of a surprise at Parker getting it ahead of Gerrard, I'm pleased they're (or Pearce!) is trying to move on from the days of over-hype and the 'golden generation'. I see this as a progressive step for the English and Parker is certainly less seedy than recent Captains. Going back to Gerrard would do little more than prove that they rely too heavily on those past stars who have generally flopped at this level.
My England team for tonight would be
Richards Smalling Jones Cole
The front 3 pushing forward all the time because you then have Parker Barry and Milner covering.
Walcott should be no where near this team.
Maybe that is why Parker was chosen ahead of Gerrard. A new manager likes to stamp their authority by selecting their own captain, maybe Redknapp has already said he wants Gerrard to be captain?
I'd prefer Gerrard to retire from the England setup and concentrate on Liverpool. If given more game time, I'd opt for Micah Richards as captain. He is clearly the best right back for England, arguably the best right back in this country at the minute, and he has experience of captaining Man City too. For me, the only other options are Milner or Hart when looking long term.
PS - last nights starting eleven had 223 caps between them, Gerrard contributed 40% of them, Parker just 5%. the average caps per person (223 divided by eleven) is just over twenty each, Parker was picking up his twelfth last night!
100% agree with your first sentence of the 2nd paragraph. It would help Liverpool to have a talismanic presence for a few extra years and England to move on from the dark days of the 'golden generation'.
England: 1 Hart/2 Richards 5 Smalling 6 Cahill 3 Baines/8 Parker© 4 Barry/11 Johnson 7 10 Gerrard 7 Young/9 Welbeck
Holland: Steklenberg/Boulahrouz Heitinga Mathijsen Pieters/Van Bommel De Jong/Kuyt Robben Sneider/RVP
I really like the England team and am not disappointed by choice of captain either. Gerrard is a wonderful Liverpool captain but not a good England one, he was poor in South Africa and allowed the situation develop where John Terry took a press conference and basically usurped him.
Glad to see Baines as Cole isn't on top form and he needs a kick up the arse. Wouldn't personally have the too holding midfielders but it's understandable given the quality of the opposition.
Think England have been the better team so far.
Yeah, the Dutch have not really shown anything of note in the final third, must be at least partially because of Sneijder's lack of form & there is not a lot of creativity to be expected from Kuyt out wide either. Having said that, England have closed them down effectively when needed.
Plus, Pieters is going to struggle against the pace and directness of Sturridge, this is something England should think of exploiting in the 2nd.