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My Choice for Wolves Captain

By Tom Bason
July 3 2013

The issue of captaincy in sport is perhaps one of the most boring discussions that can be had. Is there anything more irrelevant as to who is the captain of a football team? The importance of the captain has fallen away as fewer and fewer managers are given the time to establish meaningful relationships with his players. For someone my age, for whom football started in around 1992, there have been few defining 'captain/manager' relationships. Most of them, in fact, have been at Old Trafford as Sir Alex Ferguson relied on a few good men; first of all Bryan Robson, succeeded by Eric Cantona and latterly Roy Keane, followed, to a lesser extent, Gary Neville. But Ferguson's latter-day captains were Nemanja Vidić and Patrice Evra. Fine defenders, but do they deserve to be on that list? United fans may argue the virtues of Vidić, but I doubt many will argue that Evra is comparable to the great captains who went before him.

The other 'great' captains in the Premier League era have arguably been thrust on their new, foreign managers. Arséne Wenger, Rafa Benitez and José Mourinho had ready-made warriors already at the clubs when they arrived in the form of Tony Adams, Steven Gerrard and John Terry respectively. But, would these three players have been any less effective in the team had they not been captain? Had Steve Bould, Jamie Carragher and Frank Lampard been the club captains, would it have made a blind bit of difference? A quick look at the list of the current captains in the Premier League tells me that the captain’s role is not important (www.transfermarkt.co.uk/en/premier-league/mannschaftskapitaene/wettbewerb_GB1.html). How many of these players would you class as being particularly inspirational, or having the sort of working relationship with the manager as Ferguson did with his succession of captains? Vincent Kompany, but not many others.

Even in the other sport I love, how important is the captain? Alastair Cook has had a very good start to his career as Test captain, but how much does he actually offer? It seems to me that he was promoted on the basis of him being England's opening batsman for the next 10 years, rather than his tactical innovations. Australia seems to have an inventive captain in Michael Clarke, but for years stuck with the safe Ricky Ponting instead of the ingenious and offensive (in both senses of the word) Shane Warne. Even in cricket, where the captain is more than a leader of the players, where he should be a tactician and innovator, the selectors choose players for their playing abilities rather than their captaining skills. This is akin to picking a football manager based on their playing career than their managerial ability.

So, it seems strange that I should be writing a piece about who I think should be the new Wolves captain. The issue of the captaincy has been fraught over the past couple of seasons, most notably Mick McCarthy’s decision to replace Karl Henry with Roger Johnson as captain two seasons ago. While Henry wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea as a player, no one questioned his passion for the club, and few could see the reasons for his demotion, especially as he continued to keep his place in the first team. If, as is generally believed, that decision was part of the demise of McCarthy’s era, then the captaincy must mean something, and I don’t dispute this. The captain is a figurehead of the team, someone that the rest of the players can get behind, even if he adds nothing real to the equation.

Captains are chosen for many reasons – the 1997 Le Tournoi winning side is the best England team I’ve known. Alan Shearer captained the side, not because he was a great leader but because Glenn Hoddle believed it would give him a greater chance of winning free-kicks and penalties. This didn’t stop Paul Ince (or Tony Adams at France ’98) being leaders in the team as well. Just becoming captain doesn’t turn a player into a leader, not being a captain doesn’t stop someone from leading.

So, I’m not picking my captain because of his leadership abilities, I’m picking him for what he represents. The club has fallen away in the last two years, and change in necessary. The new captain shouldn’t be someone who can be tarnished by previous associations; it should be someone new, someone fresh who can represent the new era at Wolves. Step forward Danny Batth. Now, I know next to nothing about young Danny. I’ve seen him play a couple of times, and he appears to talk to the defence which is always promising in someone so young. But, he is reasonably experienced at this level, having played 71 of his 84 professional games in League 1. He knows this division, and maybe more importantly, he’s used to winning games. With the club/fan relationship at an all-time low, surely he is someone that all supporters can get behind. Sure, he might not be 100% prepared for the extra media work, but he’s not doing the job for this reason. I want him as captain to represent something new at Wolves, something not seen since 2006/07 season. Sometimes a club just needs a fresh start. This is one of those instances, and to me, Danny Batth is the perfect person to be at the forefront of this.

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My Choice for Wolves Captain
Wolves (IP Logged)
03/07/2013 19:07
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2013:07:17:09:53:25 by toomb.

 
Re: My Choice for Wolves Captain
Steway (IP Logged)
04/07/2013 20:47
Not being funny, but this thread is irrelevant considering the captains been chosen?

 
Re: My Choice for Wolves Captain
Cheshire wolf (IP Logged)
05/07/2013 10:27
Where and when has this been announced Steway - I haven't seen it anywhere?

As for Tom's choice, I think you are spot on. An enthusiastic and professional young man who, given the chance will I believe prove to be a wise choice. He made his mark when given the chance last season, but then didn't seem to object when Saunders dropped him in favour of Bodger.

 
Re: My Choice for Wolves Captain
an angry wolf (IP Logged)
05/07/2013 10:31
It was announced by Jackett Cheshire, I think Tom wrote this 24 hours before the announcement.

 
Re: My Choice for Wolves Captain
Bradmore Wolf (IP Logged)
05/07/2013 10:31
New Captain

was in the E&S yesterday.

 
Re: My Choice for Wolves Captain
toomb (IP Logged)
05/07/2013 11:09
Quote:
Steway
Not being funny, but this thread is irrelevant considering the captains been chosen?

You are correct - you are not being funny.

This was written a few days before the announcement, published the day before. Are all threads to be deleted as soon as they become irrelevant? Should a thread previewing a match be deleted at 3pm on a Saturday?



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Re: My Choice for Wolves Captain
Cheshire wolf (IP Logged)
05/07/2013 11:30
Quote:
an angry wolf
It was announced by Jackett Cheshire, I think Tom wrote this 24 hours before the announcement.

Thanks Angry. Just surprised to see no reference to it on the OS if it's a definite decision!

 
Re: My Choice for Wolves Captain
Risca TM (IP Logged)
06/07/2013 07:26
Rugby is my other passion (surprise) and the Lions have lost their playing captain and vice - Captain to injury, and dropped the next most senior player. So it seems their coach is less interested in who wears the armband.

 
Re: My Choice for Wolves Captain
wolverina (IP Logged)
06/07/2013 09:49
Hope he doesn't drink! (Sm17)

 
Re: My Choice for Wolves Captain
Steway (IP Logged)
06/07/2013 22:52
toomb, I'm actually genuinely not being funny, I was just confused as to why a thread debating who should be our captain was posted after the captain had already been announced. Didnt see that you'd posted it the day before at the time, so my apologies (although it was inconfirmed at the time). Other than that I thought it was a good post.

 
Re: My Choice for Wolves Captain
toomb (IP Logged)
07/07/2013 11:03
Quote:
Steway
toomb, I'm actually genuinely not being funny, I was just confused as to why a thread debating who should be our captain was posted after the captain had already been announced. Didnt see that you'd posted it the day before at the time, so my apologies (although it was inconfirmed at the time). Other than that I thought it was a good post.

I had written it about a week before, but was away with work and hadn't managed to post it on here until Wednesday evening. It was slightly unfortunate timing that Ricketts was confirmed as captain the following morning



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