Speed backs Capello over captaincy

19 March 2011 10:00

Wales manager Gary Speed claims the furore over whether Fabio Capello should reinstall John Terry as England captain has been overblown.

Terry, who was stripped of the job last year, has been widely tipped to reclaim the armband for next week's Euro 2012 qualifier against England following injury to Rio Ferdinand. Capello's handling of the situation, particularly his failure to give a definitive indication of his intentions, has attracted heavy criticism but Speed cannot understand the fuss.

"John Terry is not going to play different if he is captain or not captain," said Speed, who takes charge of Wales for the first time in a competitive international when England visit the Millennium Stadium next Saturday. "He plays the way he plays and he is a leader whether he has got the armband on or not. I think a little bit too much has been made of it."

Capello's stalled decision firstly sparked a moral debate - as Terry was stripped of the position for off-field reasons - and further negative headlines were created following rumours that England boss Capello was thinking of making the change permanent.

But Speed added: "These players are top, top players and whatever goes on off the pitch, when they step over that white line it goes to the back of the mind."

With striker Craig Bellamy having ruled himself out of the reckoning, defenders James Collins and Ashley Williams are among the leading contenders for the Wales captaincy.

Speed on Friday announced a 25-man squad for the game which included the key trio of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Bellamy after absences from the international scene of varying lengths.

Striker Robert Earnshaw was also named despite being ruled out for up to four weeks with a hamstring injury by Nottingham Forest.

Speed is keen to keep Earnshaw involved but one of the three standby strikers, David Cotterill, Jermaine Easter or Sam Vokes, could be added.

Danny Gabbidon, Joe Allen, Ched Evans, Boaz Myhill, Neil Taylor and Steve Morison also returned after missing last month's 3-0 defeat to the Republic of Ireland.

Source: PA