Steven Gerrard has been Liverpool captain for many years and will no doubt continue to be an excellent skipper until he finally hangs up his boots and takes his place on the Kop. This piece isn’t with the intention of removing him immediately or even in the next couple of years but to look at other potential leaders within the current squad. I’ve drawn up a list of 5 and would be interested to see what you guys and girls think too.
Dainel Agger, first and foremost an excellent defender, for me he’s up there with the likes of Kompany and Vidic when it comes to the Premier Leagues elite performers at centre back. He is currently enjoying his 7th season in the red of Liverpool and provided he can stay fit is a constant for Liverpool, an integral part of our strongest starting 11. Currently he takes the Danish captains armband following in the footsteps of Danish greats; Peter Schmeichel and Michael Laudrup. He put in some excellent performances during the recent European Championships, most notably a Man Of The Match performance against the Dutch. At 28, he’s coming into the prime of his playing career and has shown great loyalty to Liverpool when other offers have most certainly been tempting. His ability to read the game and lead from the back remind me of a former Scandinavian skipper that patrolled the back line in the most professional of manners at Anfield. He’s a great role model for youth players because of the standards he sets, and lets face it, ruddy cool and I almost forgot to mention that he has a great taste in tattoos!
Currently Pepe has been taking stick from certain sections of the LFC family. He’s had to watch all of his Spanish amigos move on since the Rafa revolution, his loyalty much like Aggers has been tested with bids from rival clubs from England and a far. Taking all of that into account he’s still here, he enjoys playing for Liverpool and he’ll know better than anyone that he can do even better. Under Brendan Rodgers, Reina has been able to show off his ability on the deck, he’s not just a goalkeeper that posses great reflexes but his distribution and calmness in possession is taken for granted by many fans I feel. I can’t name many other goalkeepers in the league, in fact the world that look as comfortable has him when receiving a back-pass. Pepe is currently 3rd vice in the skipper stakes, Rodgers said of him not long after he joined the club, “He is a great man and has been a wonderful player for me in this short period of time, on and off the field”. The boss likes him, which although it seems obvious, is vital for a goalkeeper. Rumours have you believe that Reina may be leaving Merseyside, for me, I just can’t see it. For now at least, he’s our No.1.
Who’d have thought 4 years ago this man would be in contention to become the next captain of Liverpool Football Club. Sadly for Lucas recent injuries have put is career on hold, not only with Liverpool but also with his national side Brazil, a side that in 2011 he was putting his mark onto with some great performances. He controls our midfield superbly on his day and has an underrated passing range that he know doubt picked up in part from Xabi Alonso. Although different to Xabi in many way his ability to protect the defence and stop attacks before they start in an effort to set up our own shouldn’t be scoffed at. A thinker, someone that sees danger before others, he’s a reliable rock that players around him look to when their backs are up against it. His credentials? A former captain of the Brazilian U20 squad which won the South American Youth Championship and Brazil have a tradition of winning that let me tell you. He shows leadership on and off the field and from what I read is extremely well liked around the club. To use a Rodgersism, he has the quality to lead, Steven Gerrard has made the point that the best way to be a captain is to lead by example, I think Lucas has taken this on board, he has got his head down and worked his way to where he is now single handedly. He’s a credit to the club.
A controversial character but don’t for a second let that disguise the fact that at 22 he was named club captain of Ajax, and is been touted by Uruguayan journalists as the natural successor of Diego Lugano has the national team captain. He clearly has shown the characteristics to be a leader, for Suarez it may be that it’s his desire and determination along with a never quit attitude which is the example he commands from his team mates. His on field antics haven’t exactly made him the most popular player with your generic football fan, but no matter how they feel personally about the player the one thing you hear from even the most anti Liverpool/Suarez fan is that his quality isn’t matched by many in the world game. Some managers are firmly of the belief that your captain should be your best player, while that may be an outdated way of thinking, he’s the one others look up to. Suarez is certainly Liverpool’s talisman at the moment and in the current state I don’t see many coming in that will better his performance levels.
Wait, stop, think before you scroll down to the comments section or twitter to tell me how stupid I’m being. When appointing a captain you look for four key traits; leadership, motivation, work ethic, application. Consider Jordan Henderson the wildcard of the piece, England U21’s captain, and a good one at that. However bad you think he might be, he was twice voted Sunderland’s Young Player of the Year, as well as been voted OUR Young Player of the Year last term. I understand some fans won’t ever be convinced by him, ‘a waste of money’, ‘offers nothing’ etc etc. That’s fine, you’re entitled to your opinion. Motivation for me doesn’t only cover geeing up the people around you but self motivation is equally as important. In his early twenties Henderson has taken stick from all four sides of the ground he calls home, he’s never moaned, he’s not publicly disagreed with the management, he’s said he’ll work hard to prove people wrong. THAT is the attitude I want from not just a captain but ANY player that dons the Liverbird upon their chest. Lets not put Henderson at the front of the queue but in 3/4 years time, he’s certainly our ‘wildcard’ option.
So there are some of the contenders, who do you think should follow Captain Fantastic?
My choice: Providing he’s still at the club and our ambitions continue to match his, Luis Suarez.
As always, if you’d like to dicuss it more with me, follow me on twitter @DoctorBenjy