What do William Gallas, Michael Dawson, Scott Parker and Aaron Lennon have in common? Probably loads of things but the one I have in mind is that they were all captain in at least one game last season. Yes, even Aaron Lennon whose donning of the armband in the Europa League was more down to his length of service than air of authority on the pitch one suspects.
Since Ledley retired we’ve not had a default captain. Dawson did emerge as the man most likely to call ‘Heads’ if he was in the team last season but this only after he was apparently on the verge of being sold off before the campaign had even begun if you believe what you read, so not exactly first name on the team sheet material. There’s no doubting that Daws is a top lad, would be a pleasure to have a pint with and is as much Spurs through and through as a boy from North Yorkshire can be but he’s no Blanchflower, Mackay, Perryman or Mabbutt.
You might say that in these days of team and squad rotation perhaps having a skipper is an anachronism anyway? What use is a figurehead who’s not always there? I don’t agree though. Especially in big games, having an inspirational figure as your official leader who commands the respect of everyone at your own club and possibly every other club as well can only give the players a lift surely? Any extra edge should be grabbed where it can and having a man on the pitch prepared to lead by example when things are going well and not hide when things are going badly is most definitely a plus point.
So assuming the captain comes from our current strongest side, who are the main candidates? We can discount the new boys, Soldado, Chadli & Paulinho, as they’ll have enough on their plate already. Lloris has the experience through leading France but we don’t really want a goalie in charge if we can help it, Bale (..yes, I know) would lead by example but we don’t really want to distract him from making the spectacular look easy. Giving Kaboul some responsibility might make him feel less like giving up whenever he stubs a toe and appointing Benny or Sandro would give the most laughs. Kyle Walker looks to be the man most liable to be selected for every game but amongst other things his not being a native French speaker counts against him.
For me it’s between Mousa Dembélé and Jan Vertonghen with my vote going to the defender. He’s got previous with Ajax, always appears up for a scrap and it might improve his concentration at corners. Judging by his goal at Old Trafford, he looks a lucky man too, and we all know what talent Napoleon is supposed to have looked for in his generals!
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