This summer the England ship sets sail for Poland and Ukraine filled with the hopes and dreams of a nation.
Just when excitement should be building and anticipation rising for what may be a last hooray for the current England crop, the voyage has once again been clouded in controversy surrounding former England captain John Terry.
The decision to strip the Chelsea man of the armband pending his court case for the alleged racial abuse of QPR defender Anton Ferdinand has again shadowed preperations and turned attention to yet more off the field matters.
The question of whether the decision taken by the FA remains further fuelled by now former England manager Fabio Capello’s apparent decision to resign over what he considers the wrong decision. The pressing question now is who should replace the Chelsea skipper as England’s leader?
The main candidates include Steven Gerrard who’s fitness continues to be a concern and a man who has been out of the England set-up for a while. Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart has been mentioned but the question of his age and inexperience will be an issue, but more importantly can England really afford to add pressure to the current number 1 considering the high profile mistakes which have effectively ended previous goalkeepers international careers.
Rio Ferdinand has ruled himself out of the running, but quite honestly a question of his inclusion given fitness and performance levels this season should be answered before any captaincy decision could have been made. Wayne Rooney has been mentioned by some as we look for a captain from the younger generation, however, is Rooney really a role model given his well publicised off the field antics and infamous red cards, bust ups, and performances at major tournaments.
The only logical candidate that remains is Tottenham’s Scott Parker. He continues to be a revelation in the Premier League helping Tottenham mount a title challenge, but more importantly he embodies the true English spirit with his tenacity, never say die attitude and commitment. He remains a true professional off the field and has a proven track record of being a leader, almost saving West Ham from relegation with a string of inspiring performances and is well known for his team talks during his time at Chelsea.
On the pitch Parker is a true captain but everything depends on whether the FA feel he is marketable enough to the rest of the world.
The question remains, did the FA jump the gun and was their decision really a help or a hindrance?
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