Captain Fantastic

Let me just clear up my views on captaincy first and foremost. I believe some players are better leaders than others; some are more likely to be naturally loud and demanding on the pitch than their team-mates and wearing an arm band doesn't change that (unless it's a swimming arm band, in which case you're likely to be less imposing). Having said that, what with the absence of Dejan next weekend and possibly for a couple of months ahead of that, it's time for us to choose another captain. There's been some great and, er, not so great players who have had the honour down the years, but who in the current squad deserves a chance?

Let's have a look at the candidates...

Andy O'Brien
Believed to be the preferred choice. Hardly what you'd call a vocal player, presumably he's favourite because of his experience and leading by example, rather than any special inspirational qualities he has.

Andy Griffin
You can see the thinking behind this one. Who's going to argue with a big angry northerner with a habit for (at least) five hilarious studs-up knee height challenges per match? On the down side, you wouldn't rely on him for his discipline and - again - you'd have to say, not one who frequently will be seen berating his team mates. Indeed it's more likely to be vice versa the amount he gets carried away and clears off up the pitch.

Richard Hughes
An interesting potential choice as some would still argue against him being Premiership quality, but you're going to get the fan favourites of "passion" and "British grit" from him. Again, not a shouter, but likely to put in a couple of hefty challenges that will get the crowd going and may gee up the rest of the players as a result.

Gary O'Neil
Captain of England U21s so automatically questions will be asked, but apparently he's "too young" for the job - a veteran on his international exploits, but somehow still only 22 and a relative baby in comparison with the rest of the squad. His performance at Boro best sums up his commitment to the cause and I think he's got "FUTURE CAPTAIN" tattooed across his forehead, if we keep hold of him, but I'm not so sure if it'll be right now. (And once more, another player who doesn't really shout and scream that much).

Linvoy Primus
Always 110%, loved by all, been here for ages. If you looked up "leading by example" in the dictionary then his picture would definitely be next to it. I suppose if you were trying to be difficult you could argue that he's a bit too nice to be captain - and guess what! He doesn't really shout at his team-mates - but I don't think we'd go much wrong with this choice.

Sander Westerveld
Apparently this was mentioned by Alain in an interview. Not sure why since he doesn't actually play to begin with, but never mind...

Whoever it is it shouldn't make much difference; just a bit of idle speculation. Perhaps the more interesting thing to see will be how we get on without Dejan in the defence in general, since his recent performances have been called into some question. And the Linvoy/O'Brien partnership isn't going to have much time to gel starting together at Anfield!