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Future Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand named England skipper

Yes, I know, Manchester United > England and all that. But it’s still United, dammit, and Rio deserves it as much as anyone else in the England squad. Plus I love a good captaincy debate (Terry v Ferdinand, if you’re wondering).

FA statement:

“Fabio Capello has confirmed that Rio Ferdinand will captain England against France in Paris. Capello has confirmed this continues his policy of rotating the captaincy between players in the friendly matches before confirming a permanent captain for the World Cup qualifying games.”

So Ferdinand will be captaining a side that includes Terry, Gerrard, as well as possibly Beckham and Owen. All four have led England at one time or the other ahead of Ferdinand, and it is a matter of pride to see the captaincy return to Manchester United, even if it is only for one game (no other United player in the squad – not even Rooney – would be in with a shot at captaincy come summer time).

Congratulations Rio – the press will roll out that drug ban story as if that still matters today, don’t listen to them. You deserve the captaincy.

Red Ranter in his recent interview talked about the calming influence Rio Ferdinand has had on the United backline and his importance to United in the last two seasons – and I couldn’t agree more. He has been the de facto United captain, what with Giggs often subbed off or on the bench and Neville permanently out injured, and now he has a chance to prove himself on the international stage in England’s friendly against France tomorrow night.

Question time: do you think Ferdinand will rise to the responsibility and be a better England captain than John Terry?



  1. RedDevil

    25 March 2008 at 16:31

    Of course, he should be United skipper for all the games!

  2. Grognard

    25 March 2008 at 16:50

    I posted this on the previous post but I believe that it belongs here more, so here it is again.

    Rio as captain for England. Now that has a nice ring to it. Hmmm! Rio as permanent captain for United. Now that sounds even better. He has earned it and he deserves it. He is our Rock of Gibraltar and the main ingredient to our team’s stability other than Fergie. Giggs, Scholes are deserving because of the experience and tenure they have with the team but Rio deserves it because of his consistently high grade of play and the leadership skills he displays on the pitch and I’m sure in the dressing room.

    Personally I believe that when Capello finally decides once and for all who his permanent captain will be, it will be either Rio or Rooney. They both deserve it and they both are the leaders of the most respected and highly regarded club in the world. Our side is run by SAF and performs like it. It also carries itself with honor and dignity. There are no Mascherano’s or Ashley Coles running their team in to the ground on this team. England needs a captain who is not just a fine player but a role model of stability that comes from a team that doesn’t represent a weekly display in poor discipline, bad taste and poor judgment. Rio and Manchester United deserve this honor from England for being disciplined, classy and the beacon of light that showcases all the right things about our game to the rest of the world. I say RIO FOR CAPTAIN…..PERMANENTLY for both club and country.

  3. Ishaaq(South Africa)

    25 March 2008 at 17:45

    RED RANTS = the best blog on the planet!!! Red ranter for president and Ahmed for vice. Perhaps for president of FIFA???

  4. The Artful Lounger

    25 March 2008 at 18:49

    I like the idea of him as captain. Rio the person will never be my favourite player (the 2007 Xmas party debacle sealed it for me) but nonetheless, on-field he leads by example. His disciplinary record is better than Terry’s and he’s never been at the centre of ugly pitch controversies, not in recent memory anyway.

    In Gaz’s absence, he’s done a fine job of marshalling the players and it’s time England sees his leadership qualities. Again, I have reservations with his off-field attitude but at least he wasn’t caught piss-drunk in a nightclub for all the country to see.

    As a United fan, I’m pleased for him and I would like to see him succeed as England captain.

  5. Dan(u-o.l)

    25 March 2008 at 20:03

    so, do you think there is a place for neville around the qualifiers? i believe that he along with luke young are the best RB in england(you could argue richards and an on-form brown but none of them are natural RB)

  6. Dan(u-o.l)

    25 March 2008 at 22:02

    adam johnson, a must sign. Its as simple as that.

  7. Grognard

    25 March 2008 at 22:44

    Dan; How can you make a claim as ludicrous as Neville being one of the two best RB’s in England when the man hasn’t played in over a year and is also fighting rust, fitness and age? I think you are speaking from the past and from your heart. Common sense makes me wonder whether Neville will even be back in a United jersey next season and you can right him right out of Capello’s thoughts. Right now I prefer Brown at RB and even Hargo or O’Shea as reserves over Neville. That has been a long long layoff for a defender who has to show pace, marking ability and dribbling skill as well.

  8. Andrei

    25 March 2008 at 22:54

    It is great for Rio. Dunno if he will make a better captain that Terry, but he cannot be a worse one. I think that he will, unfortunately, never get the full-time United capitancy. Ferguson will be reluctant to give it to him just because of his off-field behaviour (Keane, Neville, Giggs and Scholes have never been known as party animals). I think that Rooney will get a shot to cptain England in the summer, along with Frank Lampard, but Rio is the next England captain if Capello has any sense.

  9. Ryan

    25 March 2008 at 23:45

    Great news for Rio, I hope he leads the boys to victory tomorrow and makes the captaincy his own.

    Dan – Luke Young?! Are you sure??? I think Glen Johnson has a good chance of making that spot his own if Richards is overlooked as he has been playing centre back. I’d rather Phil Neville right back to Young.

    Will be interesting how Capello plays Rooney, would be good to see him behind a main striker rather than on his own.

  10. Grognard

    26 March 2008 at 00:35

    Ryan; Do England have a main striker for Rooney to play behind? I think England is loaded with a bunch of second strikers and a bean pole in Crouch. Lean times indeed.

  11. Ryan

    26 March 2008 at 00:44

    Grog: Of course we do, we have Frazer Campbell! 😉

    Your absolutly right though, Owen is still our best bet although if we’re going by form then Defoe should have been left in the squad and started…

    Speaking of international football, Ronaldo may well win Euro 2008 on his own(with a little help from Nani) if he keeps up this form! Well worth a punt at 9/1.

  12. Grognard

    26 March 2008 at 01:22

    Ryan; I think a lot of the major stars like Ronaldo will be disappointments at Euro 08 because they will feel the fatigue and listlessness that will have come from very long seasons. Remember that the best players play for the best clubs who with all the multiple cup and league games plus their Euro campaigns are going to be coming into the tournament with over 60 games played. And you wonder why Greece won Euro 04? I don’t think a pretender will win this time but I don’t feel a lot of the big name stars will have the legs to give their best. For Ronaldo’s case and for all my favorite German players (I support Germany) I hope I’m wrong. And lets not forget all the games the stars have played this year for their national sides already. Too many games in a campaign. It’s looking mor like a baseball season than footy.

  13. phoenix red

    26 March 2008 at 01:49

    anyone forgetting why we say united>england? just one word, scapegoat

  14. Dan(u-o.l)

    26 March 2008 at 09:00

    Campbell is class and was unfortunate not to score last night in the internationals.

  15. Jay wire

    26 March 2008 at 09:19

    Rio 4 captain is undisputable from manutd side.For england i simply don’t care.They are like most european teams painfully boring so i’d rather he retires from england.Im sorry 4 those who watch Euro08 becoz its the most boring tournament with fine displays of how 2 play football with 22 defenders.Disgusting

  16. Abu

    26 March 2008 at 10:47

    Rooney and Tevez have a better chance of scoring when they both start. Fergie’s tendency to start Tevez on the bench (8 times) kills the partnership they started. Although on Sunday I felt only Giggs could have been sacrificed for Tevez. I feel Tevez should be starting ahead of Giggs in a 4-3-3 similar to Sundays which can be a really effective formation for our squad. What do you guys think?


    26 March 2008 at 12:17

    Not sure Abu…

    One thing i know for certain… learnt from the liverpool game, is that Fergie will play Giggs and Scholes in the big games.. like the Chelsea match and the remaining champions league matches. Scholes i can handle, Giggs has left fumming at times this season.

  18. Beachryan

    26 March 2008 at 12:22

    Abu – I agree, think the strongest formation (IMO of course) would be:

    The midfield 3 protect and hastle quality teams, starve them of possession and time on the ball, while the front 3 look to change and counter. I’d much prefer a traditional 442, but don’t think Rooney and Tevez work as the 2, and until Saha works out how to play a whole match, we don’t have anyone else to stick up there (ronaldo does not have proper striker’s mentality, his movement and runs are very raw, would take years to build up)


    26 March 2008 at 13:10

    Also you wouldn’t want to keep Ronaldo as a permanent striker, as we would lack penetration.

  20. Conor

    26 March 2008 at 13:15

    Dan, Adam Johnson is rubbish, he can’t even get into the Middlesborough side so how would he ever play ahead of Nani or Ronaldo in the years to come? If you think he’s fit to play for us, then I assume you see him as a future England international, which shows just how bad England have become. And about Campbell, I think he looks good too, but the possibility of him becoming a regular for us is very low, we’ll end up just selling him on to a lower league team.

  21. manuforlife

    26 March 2008 at 15:54

    Absolutely CORRECT , adam Johnson is shite

  22. julio

    26 March 2008 at 16:32

    this article says everything a united fan would want to say about
    Rio and more.he has come along leaps and bounds and no matter what people say he is the one who makes vidic brilliant.He makes vidic(who is awesome) even much better.good one rio you deserve it.By the way great work ahmed getting this article out at this time when all our united emotions are up there.I will be grimacing and cheering for every tackle in tonights game.Hope the lads come out fine tonight
    with out any niggling injuries.Rooney and the rest should ideally play only one half and be one the next plane to manchester.

  23. craig mc

    26 March 2008 at 16:38

    I think Rio would like to be permanent England Captain, but that poses such a problem for ManU, because the captain has to on the pitch every game. Rio has been having a few niggling injury problems, and the more games he plays, more wear and tear. Fergie is moaning on MUTV today, that he doesn’t like our players on for full matches, but as Captain won’t Rio have to be???. Or does this not apply for friendly matches. Like Fergie, I am selfish, I just think of ManU.

  24. Dan(u-o.l)

    26 March 2008 at 17:00

    im sorry but from what ive seen, he is far from shite, i’ve always rated surman REALLY highly and he is nothing compared to johnson. He REALLy impressed me.

  25. Conor

    26 March 2008 at 17:12

    Yeah, in one game! Surman isn’t anything more than a championshp player, same applies for about half the U-21 team who look promising but thats only because they’re physically better than most of their opponents, not technically. There’s optimism and there’s this Dan, Johnson will never be Manchester United quality.

  26. Grognard

    26 March 2008 at 17:48

    Craig; The reason Italy, Germany, Brazil and Argentina are world soccer powers and between them have won the World Cup 14 times is because to their supporters and media as well as to their football organizations, the National Team is far more important than any club teams wants and desires. I may not be English and Canadian instead but I know that what the local NHL hockey team does is secondary to the desires, wishes and ambitions of Team Canada. National pride should matter more in England than club loyalty. After all, every player from your national side comes from your home soil. Remember that the next time Ronaldo stabs one of your in the back in a meaningful international. Even he knew that Portugal comes first over loyalty to United. It’s not about pay checks, it’s about national pride and loyalty.

    I am not German but I support Germany as my national team of choice because Canada’s team is ranked so low it’s not worth giving a damn. I also support Bayern Munich as my second favorite club side after United. Nevertheless, I say be damned to the clubs when a major qualifier or tourney shows up. The National Team rules. Where the club side rules is in meaningless, stupidly scheduled friendlies like todays match which puts added fatigue and risk of injury to players whose club sides are in the last lap of a long domestic and cup campaigns. And they wonder why so many players drop out of these games feigning injuries. So unless your roots are not English, show a bit of national pride mate.

  27. Grognard

    26 March 2008 at 17:50

    Dan; Johnson is good enough to play for a Manchester United legend. Roy Keane at Sunderland or Steve Bruce at Wigan.

  28. Mihir

    26 March 2008 at 18:02

    Can anyone tell me when is the kickoff time for France v England in India? What channel? I dont think ESPN/Star Sports are doing this match

  29. Dan(u-o.l)

    26 March 2008 at 19:51

    8.00, england are playing 4-2-3-1 so im a bit excited.

  30. Conor

    26 March 2008 at 20:27

    Dan not much to get excited about, a 4-2-3-1 is just a 4-3-3 with Gerrard pushed further forward. I think with Hargreaves and Barry it is slightly over defensive so I’m slightly dissapointed, although a winning formation is always a good one I suppose.

  31. Dan(u-o.l)

    26 March 2008 at 20:41

    but thats the point of 4-2-3-1, alot of defensive cover, and alot of attacking to.

  32. Dan(u-o.l)

    26 March 2008 at 20:59

    mark my words, if rooney scores tonight he will score in every game until the end of the season(more or less every game).

  33. Grognard

    26 March 2008 at 21:13

    Dream on Dan.

  34. RedDevil

    26 March 2008 at 21:59

    Why should he dream om, he can! Rooney just needs to find out how it feels to score a goal, and more importantly where on the field it is. He can score against Villa, Roma, Boro, has a habit of scoring against Arsenal, not against Rovers or Chelsea, but against West Ham and Wigan. Maybe he wont score in the CL, but he can in the prem. If Ronaldo, a winger, can, why cant Rooney, a striker, do it? He gets two or three chances in a game, he just needs to put them in!
    BTW; Anderson is praying for a goal and, according to him, hes got some celebrations to show us!

  35. Grognard

    26 March 2008 at 22:17

    For Anderson top show us his goal celebration he doesn’t just need to score a goal. lets start with baby steps. Getting the ball on goal rather than in the 30th row behind the goal would be a good start.

    Also, if anybody questions my suggestion for Mario Gomez again, I suggest the download the Germany vs Switzerland match today.
    He scored two beautiful Wayne Rooney-like goals on a the counter. He showed great skill, finesse, finishing, patience and above all PACE. Yes he can run with our boys. He also set up Klose’s first goal. SUPER MARIO.

  36. Duffstuff

    26 March 2008 at 22:27

    On england i am dissapointed that capello didn’t pick Carrick
    he is by far the best passer of the ball england has
    barry is good but isn’t international class
    What do you guys think???

  37. Dan(u-o.l)

    26 March 2008 at 22:36

    wow, england are just so crap! its unbelievable.

  38. Dan(u-o.l)

    26 March 2008 at 22:41

    we are like the arsenal of the internationals.

  39. gator

    26 March 2008 at 23:08

    annyone see anderson play today he came on as a sub in the 60th. how did he do.

  40. craig mc

    27 March 2008 at 00:25

    For F**** sake, Capello is as bad as Fergie. When are they going to realise the bloody blatantly obvious, Rooney is not an out and out striker, that he should be consistently put in the position of trying to lead the field, and doing very poorly at it. We had no potency up front tonight, and will never have if we cannot play someone in front of Rooney. Rooney should have been where Gerrard was!!!.

    Grognard mate – I am a patriot, but not when it comes to friendlies at very inappropriate times of the season, especially at a time when ManU are in the most vital time of the season. Am I such a patriot that I would like to see meaningless friendlies possibly deprive us of key players when most needed – NO MATE I AM NOT – sorry!.

  41. t_reason

    27 March 2008 at 00:31

    agree with grognard on the gomez issue….he is the definition of a striker….
    take a look at the Germany goals

  42. The Artful Lounger

    27 March 2008 at 00:33

    They didn’t show the England game here – how did Rio do? Because, much as this is counterintuitive, now that Rio has the captaincy, I want him to keep it.

    I did watch the Germany game though – Gomez is really something. I still say the way Bayern treats Podolski is criminal though.

  43. Grognard

    27 March 2008 at 00:57

    Craig MC; No problem mate. I absolutely agree with you on meaningless and poorly scheduled friendlies. But when the matches matter, then I would imagine that national pride overrules everything. Well at least it should.

    t_reason; Thanks for offering the link to everyone of the goals that Gomez scored. Germany dismantled the Swiss tonight without breaking a sweat. The Swiss aren’t world beaters but they are hosts of the big tourney and should have been more than a handful. Super Mario destroyed them with great runs, passes and two wonderful strikes. Huntelaar also scored tonight but boy did the Dutch ever get their asses handed to them by the Austrians. As for England, what did you all expect? As for Rooney, I forgive Fergie for how he uses him because he hassn’t got a roster that he can build from the entire nation. This was a friendly and Capello should have been brave enough to experiment with two strikers up front. Typical Italian cowardice. Deutschland Duetschland Uber Alles and United Forever.

  44. JB

    27 March 2008 at 01:00

    Craig mc: At least we have shown that we can make Rooney work as the lone front man. It mightn’t be ideal but we have been able to get some good performanes from him in that position. Quite frankly I don’t think this England team has the passing ability or off the ball movement to make it work but I can see why Capello wants to give it a go.

  45. craig mc

    27 March 2008 at 01:28

    JB, don’t you think though – trying to make Rooney work as the lone front man for ManU has handicapped his goal scoring a lot?. I think to get the best out of him again, we need someone to play EFFECTIVELY in the solo striker role. To me, that is not Rooney’s position, and it does detract from his game. Still, one mans meat – anothers poison eh lol?.

    Anyone notice dumbnuts Bentley tonight?. On the field 5 minutes, and after all the hullabaloo surrounding equal dumbnuts Cole and Mascherano, he starts on Malouda, and then trying to disparage the ref – what a total tosser!. I really think a good many english players have got SHIT for brains. He was lucky he only got a yellow card, I was hoping they would send him straight back off the pitch – so that the message could continue to hit home.

  46. Grognard

    27 March 2008 at 01:40

    Capello has been given a sack a shit to work with and therefore, one should not be surprised by the results. And until the BPL teams start to showcase and develop some strikers up front with a few more creative midfielders, it will be a very very dry period for the English game. Like it or not, Capello plays only one man up front because he hasn’t got faith in any other striker from England. Pretty sad when you consider Germany scored 4 goals tonight through three strikers and they had a couple others who could also do the job. Why has it gotten so bad? Because we let to many foreigners in to the league but mostly because the big four teams refuse to trust and have faith in their own home grown talent. Will Danny Wellbeck ever really get a chance with United when money and the urgency to always stay on top does not allow a team like United to work with a player like that. You don’t become international or world class by playing for Derby, Wigan, Sunderland etc. Big money and big expectations in the BPL are the reason why the National Team sucks so badly. And it’s not going to get better any time soon, with or without Mr. Capello.

  47. Shannon

    27 March 2008 at 05:54

    Did anyone see Anderson’s 30 minute cameo for Brazil?

    Did he show anything?

  48. JB

    27 March 2008 at 21:25

    Craig mc: I agree on Rooney and his deployment as a lone striker is far from ideal. But it can be made to work on occasion and he has put in fine efforts against Roma, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Milan in the position. I would not regard it as a long term solution for either ourselves or England. But look at what Capello has to work with, there aren’t really any standout alternatives available to him.

  49. Mihir

    28 March 2008 at 18:01

    damnnnn, now fletcher is out for 6 weeks coz of the knee ligament injury he faced in the game against Croatia. What the hell! More proof for how futile these international friendlies are.

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