David Sadler column
Make no mistake about it - I think Rio Ferdinand is the best defender in the world. But I still think Fabio Capello should have stuck with Steven Gerrard as England captain. That might seem harsh on Ferdinand, who was cruelly denied the greatest honour that could ever bestowed on a player - the chance to captain his country at the World Cup. The United man was all set to lead England in South Africa in the summer, only to injure his knee in a training ground collision with Emile Heskey just before the tournament began. It was a heart-breaking blow for the centre back - but unfortunately it was all too familiar a tale in recent times. Whether it was Heskey or the back problems that have plagued him so much, the fact is that Ferdinand just hasn't spent enough time on the pitch over the past couple of seasons. As such, for the all wonderful aspects of his game that will ensure he's remembered fondly among United fans, his injury record will linger in the memory. That is why Sir Alex Ferguson saw fit to appoint Nemanja Vidic as his captain at the start of the season and you can't argue with his reasoning. He needed his leader on the pitch to be a player he could depend on to play week in, week out, and Vidic is that man. Capello's needs are slightly different. Given the gaps between international fixtures there isn't the same dependency on a player being available every week. But the fact remains that Ferdinand's injury problems have affected England as much as they have United. That is why Gerrard had the armband, despite Ferdinand being handed the role when John Terry was deposed. The captaincy shouldn't be an issue - it should be a given. The manager should know who it is, the players should know who it is, and so should the opposition. Which is why Gerrard is the natural choice at a time when candidates are thin on the ground. What do you think? Have your say.
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