Gerrard gets England captaincy against Egypt

The question of who captains England at the World Cup remains unresolved following the news that Steven Gerrard is to deputise for Rio Ferdinand in the forthcoming Egypt friendly. Am I the only England fan asking: how long can this go on?

It is about time someone took a long hard look at the Ferdinand situation. This article says the 31-year-old Manchester United defender has only played 11 times this season. The longest run of games he has managed without breaking down is three. Both his club and country managers “could be forgiven if they are increasingly concerned about Ferdinand's inability to put together a sustained run of games.”

“On only two occasions this season has Ferdinand played successive games for United,” adds another UK paper. It too wonders aloud whether Ferdinand can cope with a run of games in South Africa.

“Captain Crock” is the Daily Mail’s description of Ferdinand this morning. The paper says Capello must now be considering “making a permanent change ahead of a World Cup that Ferdinand will go into with questions about his ability to play consecutive games.”

This gets to the heart of the matter. The World Cup finals tournament calls for a minimum of three games to be played by each side. England can be confident of progressing beyond the group stage but on current evidence may be forced to carry on without one of their most experienced defenders. The team needs a leader who stays fit and can cope with more than just the group games. It is becoming increasingly obvious that Ferdinand may struggle to meet these basic requirements.

I know one of my most recent posts said Gerrard should have got the job three or four years ago and suggested his drive and determination may have been blunted by age and disillusionment. I stand by both of those statements. However, giving him the England captaincy now and making plain the job is his for the World Cup finals at least could be the perfect way to resurrect his season. It would also put the issue to bed once and for all.

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