Steven Gerrard’s match-winning performance against Everton last night proved once again that he’s a fantastic captain.
The talismanic midfielder makes Liverpool tick in a way nobody else can at Anfield, one of the key factors for any great leader on the pitch looking to inspire their team on to bigger and better things.
It’s not the only ingredient needed to be the perfect skipper though, and GMF looks at five of the best captain’s to have helped their club or country onto bigger and better things whilst on the pitch…
Roy Keane – Manchester United
The Irishman arrived at Old Trafford in 1993 after learning the ropes under Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest, and took the captaincy for the 1997 season after Eric Cantona’s retirement.
Keane was a tough-tackler who picked up 11 red cards during his time at Old Trafford, but an unerring will to win helped inspire a generation of young players including Beckham, Butt and Scholes.
Popped up with several big goals for Sir Alex Ferguson, and won four Premier League, two FA Cup and a Champions League trophy with the armband.
Tony Adams & Patrick Vieira – Arsenal
Two players with different styles, but both enjoyed great success whilst leading the Gunners on the pitch.
‘Mr Arsenal’ spent 19 years with the club, taking the armband in 1988 and retaining it until retirement in 2002. A winner of four domestic titles as the skipper, Adams was vocal, physical and inspirational for players and fans alike in north London.
Vieira took the armband off Adams, and was in charge of the ‘invincibles’ that took the Premier League by storm in 2003/04. A ferocious tackler who saw red nine times with the Gunners, Vieira scored goals, was a fine passer of the ball and personified the swagger shown under Arsene Wenger.
John Terry – Chelsea
Much like Adams at Arsenal, Terry is a one-club man (apart from six loan games for Nottingham Forest) of the old school mould – a tough tackler renowned for his bravery and will-to-win.
Despite several off-the-field troubles for the England international, Terry remains a firm favourite in the eyes of the Chelsea fans having guided them to their first titles in over 50 years.
An inspirational centre half, ‘JT’ has popped up with a few crucial goals during his time at Stamford Bridge, and the biggest compliment to the player can be that Chelsea look a completely different side when Terry is involved for the Blues.
Alan Shearer – Newcastle United
The Premier League’s all-time leading goalscorer only got the armband in 1999, having already captained his country at two major international tournaments.
A battering-ram striker who led by example, Shearer was happy to leave his mark on defenders with a physical approach whilst banging in the goals from either close-range or distance.
Shearer quickly became a legend for his exploits on Tyneside, and also briefly managed the club during their relegation season. Whilst his spell in charge was seen as a failure, there is little doubt that, as a captain, he was a quite brilliant leader.
David Beckham – England
If one performance defined the potential importance of a captain, Beckham’s display in the 2-2 with Greece was just that.
Whilst his overall reign in charge on the field was relatively unspectacular, his assist and goal at Old Trafford will forever be remembered in English football history as one of the great solo displays.
With qualification to the 2002 World Cup coming off the back of Beckham’s showing, his place as a great captain is controversially granted!
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