Euro 2012 - England captaincy: Who's next?

Fri, 03 Feb 12:16:00 2012

We run down the leading contenders to replace John Terry as captain England at Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

2010 World Cup Steven Gerrard John Terry - 0

Steven Gerrard

Strengths: He is the current vice-captain, so it would be logical for him to step up. Gerrard is still an automatic selection when fit, and is widely liked within the England squad. The Liverpool midfielder captains his club and is an experienced England skipper, having led the team at the 2010 World Cup.

Weaknesses: Led the team at the 2010 World Cup - how did that work out? Is a leader by deed rather than word, and struggled to make himself heard above stronger personalities (i.e. Terry) in South Africa. Is often injured, and rarely plays friendlies.

Frank Lampard

Strengths: A safe pair of hands, England's elder statesman Lampard deals superbly with the media - vital at such a sensitive time. Lampard has had a decade in the England team and is popular with the fans.

Weaknesses: How awkward would it be for Chelsea to replace Terry with his vice-captain at club level? Lampard is very much part of England's old guard, and would not be a progressive selection. His place in the team is starting to come into doubt.

Gareth Barry

Strengths: The former Villa captain is enjoying an excellent season with Manchester City. Apart from a disastrous World Cup when he was not fully fit, Barry has never let his country down. A calm head in turbulent times.

Weaknesses: Barry is not the most vocal character, and would struggle to deliver Terry's brand of blood-and-thunder leadership. The World Cup debacle means he is not the most popular man with the fans.

Scott Parker

Strengths: A popular selection among the fans - the Tottenham midfielder's name is buzzing across the internet. Parker is not associated with the failures of the past, and has emerged as a key player for England.

Weaknesses: Inexperienced in the role - he was not, as widely assumed, captain of West Ham last season. Though he has played superbly in the last year, he is not guaranteed to be in the team at Euro 2012.

Joe Hart

Strengths: The Manchester City man is enjoying an exceptional season, and has emerged as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. He is a certainty to play in Poland and Ukraine and, at 24, would be a forward-looking choice.

Weaknesses: England have struggled with goalkeepers, and having finally found a special player, why heap more pressure on him? Hart has never captained a club side and would be a huge gamble for Capello.

Ashley Cole

Strengths: Countries less obsessed with the captaincy than England toss the armband to the player with most caps. For England, that is Cole, with 93 (Lampard 90, Gerrard 89, Ferdinand 81, Rooney 73, Terry 72). Wonderfully consistent for the last decade.

Weaknesses: Let's face facts. However well Cole has played for England, he is hardly viewed as a national treasure. At a time when England need a player who stays out of the tabloid headlines, Cole would be a bizarre selection.

Wayne Rooney

Strengths: England's key attacking player, Rooney is guaranteed to start when fit and available. Would be a candidate for the armband if Capello took the approach of appointing his best player, as Sven-Goran Eriksson did with David Beckham.

Weaknesses: Misses the first two games of Euro 2012 through suspension. Rooney's hot temper continues to get him in trouble, and his would be an exceptionally high-profile appointment. He doesn't need the hassle.


The former England skipper has said he does not want to be considered, tweeting: "I don't want to be England captain after the last episode, just want to concentrate on playing for United and if I make the squad then as ever I'll be delighted."

Alex Chick - @alexchick81 / Eurosport

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