There’s something to be said for Gareth Southgate’s policy of rotating the England captaincy. Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Eric Dier have already worn the armband during Southgate’s tenure and it appears to be generating some much-needed responsibility in what is a very young squad.
But the ultimate question still remains of who should be England’s permanent skipper for the World Cup in Russia and in addition to the aforementioned names, Gary Cahill, Joe Hart and John Stones appear to be in the mix as well. Here’s a look at what Cahill does and doesn’t offer the England captaincy…
With a new generation breaking through, Gary Cahill stands tall as the most experienced member of the current England squad.
That’s in terms of age, outfield caps and the progress of his club career, winning two Premier League titles and featuring in Europa League and Champions League finals during his time at Chelsea.
That seniority makes him a pretty strong candidate for the armband anyway, but added to that is Cahill’s experience as a captain; he’s served as Chelsea skipper for just over a year now, replacing John Terry following the switch to 3-4-2-1, and has captained the England national team five times already.
Likewise, while Cahill may never be a genuine world-beater, he’s at the very least reliable – an ever-committed defender on the pitch and a consummate professional off of it.
For all of Cahill’s vast experience, it’s not actually clear whether he’ll be a guaranteed starter for the Three Lions next summer. Southgate has placed a heavy emphasis on ball-playing centre-halves and although Cahill is no liability in possession, he lacks the same technical quality of the younger players breaking through, chiefly John Stones and Harry Maguire – who excelled in Cahill’s customary left centre-back role against Germany on Friday night.
Likewise, we know Southgate is building for the future and looking beyond the summer, so is a centre-back who’ll be 32 by the time the World Cup comes around really the right option to take the Three Lions forward long-term?
There are certainly younger candidates to choose from, not least including the aforementioned Stones.