Football is often criticised in comparison to other sports, with the role of the captains armband supposedly waning in importance. Is this justified?
In rugby, your captain is your leader.
It is a simple truth that means the captain is responsible for decision making, controlling the teams discipline and being the voice for the team to engage with the fans.
When watching a rugby union match between two sides it is always obvious to see who decides whether to kick for goal or whether to kick for touch, the man who is instructed with keeping his players in check by the referee and the one holding the microphone talking to the crowd at the end of the game.
In cricket, your captain is your leader.
Alistair Cook has had a disastrous trip to Australia recently but he is the man in charge of what happens on the cricket field.
Cook will set the field, decide who is bowling and for how long and he is the first point of contact with the team coach.
The responsibility can be overwhelming for a captain as the anguish etched onto the face of Cook during the Ashes whitewash was plain to see.
He cares what happens to his side and his cricket career can depend on positive results- the heavy defeat for the England cricket team means his place is now under question.
In football, your captain is your leader?
A footballing captain might bark instructions at his team, do his best to lead by example and relay important messages from the coach but ultimately the manager is responsible.
There are many examples of a player taking the game by the scruff of the neck to inspire his team to what may have seemed an impossible task to the ordinary player.
David Beckham's performance against Greece in 2001 and Steven Gerrard's display in the Champions League final in 2005 to name just a couple.
And yet, often if the captain is substituted during a football match, the armband is handed over to someone else to assume the role for the last few minutes.
A footballing leader to be proud of is one who will assume responsibility for the team and sacrifice the individual accolade of the captaincy- why then is the modern game so short of such characters?
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