Rating Premier League skippers from 'Captain, Leader, Legend' to 'Shouldn't be captain'

As Liverpool captain, Jordan Henderson has had one hand on the Premier League trophy for months. 

Having led his side to a 25-point lead at the summit, the midfielder is having to sit tight until the coronavirus crisis is over and it’s safe for fixtures to recommence. 

When that happens, Henderson will be elevated into a tier of his own as the first Reds skipper of the Premier League era to lift its most coveted prize. 

The irony is, some will still never rate him as highly as Steven Gerrard. Both have won the Champions League, of course, but what makes a great captain is subjective.

Those chosen few who get to don the armband of their respective clubs are often chosen as much for their leadership as their playing ability. 

What makes someone like Manchester United legend Roy Keane a leader of men? How did Arsenal’s Patrick Vieira manage to inspire his teammates to a whole season unbeaten? 

As the saying goes, some are born great, and others have the armband thrust upon them quite literally because there’s nobody else to wear it. 

That means that the top flight’s greatest captain is a matter for debate and thankfully, Twitter user @burgerwijn has done the leg-work for us all.

‘George’ has weighed in with his tier system, throwing in a mix of current captains and some legends like Tony Adams, Gerrard, Keane, John Terry, and Vieira who simply couldn’t be left out of the conversation. 


The man who will feel the most hard-done-by in all of this is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the only player slammed into the very lowest rung” ‘Shouldn’t be captain’. 

Ouch. The truth is the striker is only Arsenal skipper because Granit Xhaka was stripped of his role and as yet, he hasn’t stormed off the pitch or screamed at his own fans to “f*** off”. Which, in our eyes, is a vast improvement.

The Gabon international is also far and away his side’s best player and has contributed far more than any other player this season. 

Meanwhile, it’s a little harsh putting Harry Maguire in the ‘average’ category. United do seem to have improved under his leadership, although it will forever be hard to see a man nicknamed ‘Slabhead’ as a general leading his troops to war. 

Hugo Lloris, on the other hand, is right where he belongs. The Frenchman can make spectacular saves on his day but is also guilty of far too many howlers; then you consider the number of times he’s complained about Tottenham’s mentality in recent years before remembering he’s partly responsible for it. 

If we had our way, there would be a handful of other changes, too.Mark Noble could be bumped down to the vague non-entity that is the ‘local lad’ club, as he’s undoubtedly a hero at West Ham and has been a great servant to the club. 

Loyalty is indeed key to being a ‘great’ captain, which is why most Arsenal fans won’t mind Robin Van Persie being taken down a peg either. Vieira, on the other hand, should be elevated into the ‘Captain, Leader, Legend’ club, as should Gary Neville. 

Taking their place as a ‘hero’ should be Troy Deeney, having helped Watford to promotion and a historic FA Cup final. 

Ultimately, whatever fans think of them, all these players will go down in their respective clubs’ history as one of a select few to be given the honour of wearing the armband. 

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