Is captaincy overrated?

Discussion in 'Football Forum' started by Irrational., Oct 5, 2017.

  1. Oct 5, 2017
    #1

    Irrational. Full Member

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    I've seen a few articles and quotes by pundits and managers who are debating whether or not it is a good thing to give Harry Kane the England captaincy. Those for suggest he'll thrive off the extra responsibility and become a better player and those against say that his goalscoring may suffer as a result.

    Personally I think it's a load of nonsense - definitely on the international stage but also at club level. I think the importance of the club captain has declined over the past decade and it's much more every player looking after their own performance. And captaincy didn't stop the likes of Rooney playing rubbish in his last few years.

    Thoughts?
  2. Oct 5, 2017
    #2

    RobinHood New Member

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    Maybe a couple of years ago it made a difference (well.. sort of). You had Roy Keane, Patrick Viera and to a lesser extent maybe Steven Gerrard and John Terry. The first two had what I think was a cult of personality. They were idolised both by their own fans as well as the media. They fed off of that and with the leadership armband fit snugly around their arms they led their troops to war.

    Look I personally don't much care for either Terry or Gerrard, but sometimes (not always) they used to egg their teammates on and almost tried to wear the armband like a cape.

    Right now? Honestly I can't see anyone like that anymore. Yes the captaincy has sort of become devalued. Clubs seem to now be handing out armbands to the players that have been on the books the longest. Right now I honestly couldn't care who the United captain is. But I think it would be nice if we could have that special someone (doesn't need to be the most talented) who could roar the lads on. Sometimes these players with their spirit could push a good team to become a great one...

    Reading all of that I don't actually know if I answered the OP
  3. Oct 5, 2017
    #3

    NK86 Full Member

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    I never got the importance of captaincy in football. All the major decisions are taken by the manager and the board. The captain is just a figure. Maybe the team could look up to him but all players look up to great footballers even if they aren't captains.
  4. Oct 5, 2017
    #4

    Danny Roberts Full Member

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    I think a captain can have a big role but it's always been the same in that you don't need to be captain to be a leader. Football isn't like cricket or rugby where the captain has clearly defined roles so I don't think it's ever been that important and still isn't.

    As to whether the captaincy can improve or diminish a player, that isn't about the captaincy, that's about their own psychology. I think Gerrard would have played better for England had he been made captain as he would have felt like the main man, which was a big part of his success at Liverpool IMO.
  5. Oct 5, 2017
    #5

    Sassy Colin Death or the gladioli!

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    In football, it's generally irrelevant, with the odd exception. Jose just makes the oldest player on the pitch Captain, which is fair enough.
  6. Oct 5, 2017
    #6

    12OunceEpilogue Full Member

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    I agree, in cricket for example there are clear responsibilities that come with the captaincy. For football in my view a rule where only the captain can speak at length to the ref (obviously other players can speak when spoken to first) could be a good way to both improve conduct on the pitch and give the captain a bit more status.

    As it stands I think leadership in football is very important, but senior players can and should lead regardless of who is officially the captain. It is up to the player to bring something to the armband rather than the armband to bring something to the player.
  7. Oct 5, 2017
    #7

    Fenomeno9 Full Member

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    Yes, it is overrated because the teams best leader doesn’t need the armband to actually lead. Other intangibles I feel a captain should have is hold players accountable on the pitch and that guy should not be fazed by pressure. Take Argentina for example and Brazil has done it too. Give Messi the captain and it’s quite clear Mascherano is the leader.
  8. Oct 5, 2017
    #8

    Dargonk Ninja Scout

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    I'd say it is a largely pointless position. Any real leaders in the team will be doing the same things during a game etc regardless of who has the armband. Anything other than playing the game itself, the manager controls. Basically all the captain really does it flip a coin and pass on messages from the ref if required.
  9. Oct 5, 2017
    #9

    Robertd0803 Full Member

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    I always thought Rooney as captain (both club and country) diminished his agressiveness as he tried to do too much and lost some edge to his game.

    Some players dont need the captains armband to be a leader, Gary Neville certainly didnt while Roy Keane was captain as one example.
  10. Oct 5, 2017
    #10

    Rob Full Member

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    Captaincy definitely means less now than it used to. As someone else said, the leaders once were Keane, Terry, Viera, Gerrard etc who were not only brilliant footballers but also natural leaders. Those types don't really exist anymore. Not at the top clubs in England anyway.
  11. Oct 5, 2017
    #11

    DannyCAFC Full Member

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    Pretty irrelevant, they don't seem to have any tactical, strategic or disciplinary responsibilities like captains do in cricket or rugby for example.

    They are basically just there seemingly for motivational duties, but you don't need an armband to do that, there are plenty of strong personalities across clubs who will display leadership qualities without being a captain.
  12. Oct 5, 2017
    #12

    James Peril Full Member

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    In most cases it doesn't matter at all, but everyone that has played football (at a certain level) knows that a captain is somewhat important. First of all the captain is the one talking to the referee, and he can influence decisions for sure. However, having a captain like Harry Kane has no value at all. He is a non-vocal guy with no charisma, a fantastic football who just scores goals. A captain needs to be a leader and someone who gets the extra 5% out of everyone - something Arsenal did not have when they lost 2-8 at Old Trafford, or Liverpool away to City this year or Chelsea when they lost at home to Burnley with 10 vs. 11. To put it mildly; Chelsea would not have lost their heads so badly if John Terry was the captain still.

    I wonder what the ratio is between being a captain and a future manager, at least a future pundit. I know players are hired as pundits if they still have a pulse and don't drink too much or take drugs, so maybe that's not worth discussing.
  13. Oct 5, 2017
    #13

    MoskvaRed Full Member

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    I can't remember a football captain being criticised for his captaincy in a particular game the way a cricket captain or a rugby captain would. Probably because their contribution mainly revolves around their personal contribution as a player. To be honest, I struggle to remember who United's captain was in our last great triumph in 2008. Was it Rio?
  14. Oct 5, 2017
    #14

    AndyJ1985 Full Member

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    Natural leaders will always lead regardless of who wears an armband. I think being captain is fairly irrelevant.
  15. Oct 5, 2017
    #15

    harms Full Member

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    Ramos is a great captain, inspiring his teammates and leading by example in all those comebacks and late wins. Despite being a rush player with an occasional mistake/red in his. Godin too. It's not like the leaders disappeared from the game.

    Agree on captainship not being crucial, unlike the leadership itself though.
  16. Oct 5, 2017
    #16

    Minimalist Full Member

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    It doesn’t have to matter. A good team is a good team regardless.

    I do think a great captain (and usually a great player) will elevate his team’s performance.
  17. Oct 5, 2017
    #17

    RedRob Full Member

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    Gallas?

    And yes, Ferdinand captained us on the day, but Neville was club captain at the time (the whole, "Two weeks." debacle) and Giggs lifted the trophy alongside Ferdinand. The captaincy was a bit of a revolving door at the time. Captaincy was a big thing to Van Gaal ("My captain always plays.") but to Ferguson, captaincy was no guarantee of gametime - Keane only played in 30+ PL games per season three times in his United career, when Neville became captain, he never went past 25 PL games per season and Vidic only played more than 22 times once as captain under Ferguson. Mourinho's views on captaincy appear much more relaxed: in about a season and a quarter, we've seen Rooney, Valencia, Young, Fellaini, Carrick, Mata and possibly a few others captain the team, and not just because everyone else was dropped or injured. Whether that's indicative of the progression of the game or just the manager's mindset, only he knows.

    (Disclaimer: Moyes' views on captaincy can be safely disregarded since he retained Vidic as captain, then tried to make him play like Phil Jagielka.)
  18. Oct 5, 2017
    #18

    Peyroteo ahahahahah feck off dad!

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    If you've played football and had a great captain in your team then you know how important having one is. The armband is much more than a symbol.

    A captain has to be admired and respected by the whole squad, lead by example and be close to the coach to form a bridge between the coach and the players. It's not essential and plenty of teams get by without someone like that but it's definitely important.
  19. Oct 6, 2017
    #19

    UnrelatedPsuedo I pity the poor fool who stinks like I do!

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    Southgate should just grab hold of his balls, speak to the press and say for the next calendar year (or until the World Cup) the most capped player in the starting eleven will wear the armband.

    Plenty of other countries do it. It doesn't put pressure on the player. Everyone knows who the Captain will be.

    He's got enough problems. This stupid media circus about the Captaincy should be marginalized.
  20. Oct 6, 2017
    #20

    Un4givableB Full Member

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    In good teams captaincy is irreverent,the best Utd teams had four or five leaders on the pitch.
  21. Oct 6, 2017
    #21

    Cassady Not to be confused with Cassidy the United fan

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    Maybe Steven Gerrard ?

    :lol:
  22. Oct 6, 2017
    #22

    Cassady Not to be confused with Cassidy the United fan

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    Someone like Steven Gerrard ?
  23. Oct 6, 2017
    #23

    UnrelatedPsuedo I pity the poor fool who stinks like I do!

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    I'd say the opposite. I've played in so many teams where the best player, the biggest voice or leader, hasn't been the player wearing the armband.

    Character matters. The ability to captain a side does. But sides that simply give the armband to the most capped player work every bit as well.

    The Arsenal side of a few years back had Arshavin, Rosicky, Benayoun, Vermalaen and Ramsey in their side who all captained their countries. Still a weak willed side.

    The United side of 2003 had Blanc, Veron, Becks, Giggs, Keane, and had a rough season where we looked listless.

    Team dynamic matters most. Leaders build on pitch dynamic. An armband adds very little.
  24. Oct 6, 2017
    #24

    Peyroteo ahahahahah feck off dad!

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    Of course, I meant having a great captain is pretty important for the dynamic of the team. If it's a shitty captain then it will obviously not be good. I've played with a lot of different captains, there were shit ones and great ones and I'd definitely say things are a lot easier on both the team and manager when there's a great captain in the team. The armband is pretty important because it gives you authority over different matters, I'm guessing these things vary from team to team and manager to manager but the captain will definitely have more duties and responsabilities than other players for most teams.

    It's not an essential factor of course, plenty of examples of teams that have been successful without proper captains or leaders but I think having someone like that is definitely a positive thing. Not necessarily just one, of course. The more people like that in a team the better.
  25. Oct 6, 2017
    #25

    Organic Potatoes Full Member

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    Obsession with captains seems to be an English disease.
  26. Oct 6, 2017
    #26

    ChaddyP Full Member

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    Came in here to post similar. This obsession over who should be the captain or who is captain material is way over the top. Never seen whats the big deal who is the captain. Its not cricket it doesnt affect the game who has the armband.