Manchester United are looking for a new captain. The club captain is still Gary Neville, Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester Un ited manager, has confirmed. However Sir Alex Ferguson has questioned just how many minutes Gary Neville will feature this season and so decided that even when he plays it is not appropriate for him to be captain. It is indeed a strange situation. The whole saga has become an interesting story in the light of Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Goodison Park with Everton. Gary Neville started at right back in that match but yet Nemanja Vidic was the captain on the pitch. This made many Manchester United fans question what exactly was going on.
To complicate matters Rio Ferdinand is due to return to the team in Tuesday evenings match against Glasgow Rangers in the Champions League. The reason this further complicates the situation is because Rio Ferdinand has typically been the captain when Gary Neville has not been fit, which for much of the last three seasons has been the case. Furthermore, Rio Ferdinand has not often been fit, meaning neither club captain nor vice captain have actually been captain on the pitch for the starting eleven. Thus, for much of the last two seasons, Manchester United have played without a regular captain. The position has been held, intermittently, by Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic and Ryan Giggs.
Sir Alex Ferguson, when questioned today about the captaincy at the club, insisted Gary Neville was still club captain but no decision had yet been made who would be the captain on the pitch. The club captain differs in responsibility from the one on the pitch. The club captain is expected to act as a leader on the training ground and with ambassadorial duties. The captain on the pitch, contrastingly, is expected to offer leadership and instruction on the green grass during the match. When pressed during Monday night’s press conference as to who would be captain against Glasgow Rangers in the Champions League Sir Alex Ferguson replied ”no comment”. Many might see this deliberation and uncertainty as a challenge to Rio Ferdinand to cement his place in the first team and overcome his injury problems, thus enabling him to re-emerge as the regular captain. Interestingly on the international scene Rio Ferdinand is also facing a threat to his captaincy for England. Many pundits and fans are insisting that Fabio Capello gives the job to Steven Gerrard permanently, as he has performed exquisitely in the role since made captain in Rio Ferdinand’s absence.