Barry for Captain?

With less than a week to go until the start of the new Premier League season, there are still questions about how our first-choice defence will line up, and also who will be chosen to wear the captain's armband. Mark Hughes has gone on record as saying that Richard Dunne will continue as skipper. Whether that means as club or team captain i'm not sure, but the latter would indicate Hughes sees the player as key to his plans, and if that's the case then, given his form over the last eighteen months, i think we might be in trouble.

Dunne has proved a terrific asset, and we should never forget his good service, but he's simply not good enough to be first choice, or vocal enough to remain our leader. I'm sure he's respected by most at the club, but as more expensive signings arrive, and the ego's that come with them, we need a player capable of bringing and keeping them together. As much as Dunney will always be somewhat of a hero to fans of the club, he's not the man for that job.

In my opinion, there are a handful of other candidates, not ideal, but all perhaps worthy of the role in one way or another. Pablo Zabaleta is a player who leads by example, and never gives anything less than 100%. His English is also surprisingly good for someone who's been in the country for only a year. Against him might be his lack of experience, both as a captain and in England, though he has lead Argentina u20's.

Shay Given, with almost 500 top-flight games under his belt, and nearly a century of international caps, would be another candidate, for me. He's certainly one who's vocal, as i guess he has to be, and you might have noticed since he signed. Goalkeepers infrequently lead sides, though, the most obvious examples being Oliver Khan and Dino Zoff, both with some success. I expect Shay might have enough on his plate organising his defence, in all honesty, perhaps the armband would be better going to an outfield player.

One thing i'm quite sure of is that the responsibility shouldn't be placed on the shoulders of Stevie Ireland just yet. He's our most key player, it goes without saying, but he's in the spring of his career and such a burden on the back of one superb season could be a case of too much, too soon. It's a role i can see him taking at some point in the future, but for now i'd prefer to see him continuing to keep his head down and play well. The armband should be something he grows into after learning from others, rather than something that's thrust on him due to lack of a standout candidate.

Kolo Toure could be an outside bet. He's occasionally had the post at his former club, and his reputation as a fine defender is backed up with silverware. I'm not entirely convinced he's the greatest of organisers, and does strike me as being occasionally erratic, but he certainly doesn't appear shy. Seen as permanent captain material at Arsenal or not, he's a player who's been there and done it at a top club, perhaps that should mean he be considered a serious candidate.

Of those currently at the club, i think Gareth Barry is perhaps just the strongest candidate. A top Premier League player year-on-year, and since Fabio Capello arrived as national team manager, a regular in his side. He seems like a confident lad and reads the game superbly well. He's another who leads by example, gets both get stuck in and can influence games going forward, and he's a terrific role model, even Villa fans, disappointed with him leaving, would have to admit as much.

If anything, i guess this sums up why the manager wanted John Terry. He could have come in and really built up a togetherness and a discipline that perhaps we lack. Dodgy back or not, that bulldog spirit is something that's been missing for a long while. My only slight issue with Hughes here is why as soon as we weren't hearing promising noises about that potential transfer, we haven't gone out of our way to try and sign someone like-for-like. I doubt there are too many about, certainly not of Terry's quality, but faffing about and not knowing who our first-choice centre-half pairing will be, or who will lead the squad, isn't really the best preparation.


  1. If we were to change captain Gareth Barry will probably be made it, although if we are talking about wanting a vocal skipper then Kolo Toure is very vocal.

  2. I say get rid of Dunne as soon as possible, its obvious his heart is not in it or with City, still as bad as David James.

    Replace him, give Barry the captaincy until Ireland is strong enough to lead us.

  3. Richard Dunne's heart as always been with City.

    I am tired of Dunne's negative press, he makes mistakes from time to time but when you look at how much covering he does for the rest of the defence it is not surprising.

    Now it looks like he will be playing left centre half unless we bring someone in, where he is obviously not comfortable playing. So more reasons for boo boys to have ago.

  4. I agree that Dunne's heart probably is in it, but he's simply not good enough for us any more. I think we should see that the likes of Dunne no longer being one of our stand-out players as progress. He's served the club terrifically well, but it's not a case of him making the odd mistake, he's made them game after game for eighteen months.

  5. Then explain the two times Micah Richards had to cover for Dunne because his mind was elsewhere, explain why other City fans also saw Richard Dunne in a world of his own against Rangers.

    Read my comment again Gary and you will see i said his heart is not in it as is not up for it and also that his heart is not at City right now, damn hes lucky hes still in the first 11, Hughes won't be giving him special treatment for long and many more City fans voices are agreeing with me, Dunne is past his best.

    P.s. i dont care how well a performance he put in for his national side, he was up against average opponents.

  6. If you don't think he is good enough say that, don't say his heart isn't at City when it clearly is.

    As for Richards covering, he couldn't cover himself up with a blanket, his tracking back is terrible at times.

    I think you need to watch Dunne more closely and see all the work he has to do covering for the likes of Richards.