Has The Meaning of The Armband Diminished and Who Should Wear It Next?

Manchester United

Manchester United are like football royalty. Currently the most decorated side in English history, the Red Devils puff their chest’s out with great gusto at the fact that the record books boast titles galore. A barren 26 year wait for a League title, still kept United in with their rivals as they became something of a cup team. However, the Premier League era has been dominated by Manchester United. Thirteen sparkling Premier League trophies have been handed over to various captains, to be held aloft at the end of a glorious season of dominance. Leaders of men, winners!

Currently, as United go a third year since their last title triumph, leaders of men they do not have. Wayne Rooney was given the armband when Louis Van Gaal was appointed manager back in summer 2014. Departing captain, Nemanja Vidic, was the last to lift the trophy high above his head. Recent times have seen a worrying trend. Jose Mourinho has handed the captaincy around like confetti at a wedding. This once prestigious award is now being diminished, like the current England situation. Players handing it to subs, who in turn hand it to someone else. But this isn’t England. This is Manchester United. The biggest and greatest football team in the world. So why has it come to this Jose?

Captains of the Premier League era include Bryan Robson, Steve Bruce, Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Nemanja Vidic. All natural leaders. Players who would take a game by the scruff of the neck.

With Rooney being injured, dropped or out of favour, it seems that there are no real leaders in the team. Carrick takes up the role when the record goalscorer is not on the pitch, but at present, he is only a bit part player himself. Fellaini was given the job in the last away game at Boro, winning 3-0 and playing to a decent standard. Last week against Chelsea and shock horror, Ashley Young was given the armband. The chance to lead out the most successful club in the land. This from a player who has hardly pulled up any trees since his arrival six years ago. Out of contract in the summer and struggling to get a game every week, young skippered United to a 2-0 home win, and arguably their best result of the season, against Chelsea. Antonio Valencia could possibly take his turn next. Michael Carrick resumed the role against Anderlecht.

The summers transfer activity will define which way United will play next season. Will Jose go for a bit of steel? or maybe some flair?. Someone will need to stand up and be counted if they want to lead United to their 21st title.

About the Author

John McNicoll
Southern Red and Football enthusiast.