Vlog on the pitch – what’s a captain worth?

April 14, 2008

If you could pick any player to be your captain from across the ages, who would it be?

Owen Wyatt and Jon Bramley are joined by the latest member of the vlogonthepitch squad, Darcy Lambton, to discuss the issue of captains following the performance of Arsenal’s William Gallas in the 2-1 defeat at Manchester United on Sunday.

Gallas is passionate and his own man but some believe this does not make him the best captain. What do you think? In fact, do soccer teams need captains at all? The sport is not like cricket for example, where skippers do much more.

Armbands have traditionally gone to centre backs and the vlogonthepitch trio have been especially impressed with Rio Ferdinand’s captaincy of Manchester United. However, it is interesting to note he has only got the job because Gary Neville is injured and Ryan Giggs no longer plays every game.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard showed nerves of steel in midweek to bury the penalty in the Champions League win over Arsenal. Do actions speak louder than tubthumping words? 

Leave your comments below to our captain’s blog or record your own video response, post it up to youtube or wherever tagged “vlog on the pitch” and if we like it we’ll put them up here.


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Gallas has been a disgrace all season.

Who can forget his tantrum in the Birmingham game earlier in the season. When we look at the leadership qualities of Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand, Gallas comes in well below par. Even Gareth Barry deserves a mention.

Posted by Free Bets | Report as abusive

Didier Deschamps leadership on the pitch was a key factor in France winning the best World Cup of recent years in 1998. His off-field leadership has been evident in his management success since retiring… He was Makalele, before the Makelele style defensive midfielder ahead of the defensive line became fashionable. I think he was the best captain of modern times.

Posted by Ben | Report as abusive

Deschamps’ record speaks for itself, you’re right, Ben. What England would have given for a man with his leadership skills over the same period.

Posted by Jon Bramley | Report as abusive

As D’Arcy says, it comes down to quality of players and the manager. Well I can’t go past one particular player / manager combo – John McGovern and Brian Clough. Back to back European Cup wins speaks volumes for the impact of that partnership.

Posted by Robin | Report as abusive

In recent times,

For sheer leadership in actions, it has to be Stevie G. He single handedly lifted an average Liverpool side to win the Champion’s league in Istanbul.

For quiet leadership, just being there to inspire, Paolo Maldini. 20 years on and he’s still there, still giving his 110% and a rock solid performance.

Historically, the captain’s armband has been swopped around a bit that there’s no 1 outstanding captain. I can’t remember the captains of the great Brazil and Argentinian sides of the pre-1990s.

Posted by Five Times | Report as abusive

Stevie G? Stevie G? he goes on sabbatical everytime Liverpool play their 2 biggest games of the year against Man U- no mention of Roy Keane yet? why am i not surprised

Posted by james moran | Report as abusive

We did mention Roy Keane during the Vlog. One point, though. He missed the Champions League final of 1999 through indiscipline – though many will argue the semi was his final hour. Not sure if I’d want my captain sidelined for such a huge match. Undeniably, Keane was inspirational in his own way.

Posted by Jon Bramley | Report as abusive

Why should Keane be mentioned? No doubt he’s great at times but being ill-disciplined and wanting to break the legs of a fellow footballer takes him off the list.

Posted by Five Times | Report as abusive

Its so brilliant that someone like that Darcey guy is on the panel. He just said everything I would have said…top guy

Posted by Sophia Hemphill | Report as abusive