Home / Soccer Fans / Newcastle, Team Captains, and Fulham


Big things happening around these parts.  First things first though.  Newcastle has signed Kevin Keegan to what is roughly a three-year contract.  Many people are dubbing this the “second coming”, which seems a little overdone, but I suppose that when you’re supporting the only major club of a major English city that hasn’t produced a trophy in over 50 years and the man that once lead you to your highest league place ever (third place in 1994) is now at the helm I too would be, as they say, “over the moon”. 

Keegan is walking into what is currently one of the toughest managerial positions in the Premier League.  He has, however, been given a “blank check” in regards to spending and been told that his imagination is his only boundary.  Dare I say that I would begin calling clubs immediately attempting to pull at least one more world-class player onto my team.  Most notably a defender, and while I have a few in mind that will be for another blog so stay tuned.

In other news, the papers here have been heavily reporting on new England manager Fabio Capello’s apparent tax evasion in Italy.  But while he has quickly squashed these rumors, many of the sports pages and magazines have been enquiring into the prospect of Capello picking a new man to wear the badge for the Three Lions.  In light that Capello may or may not pick John Terry to captain the English side I have devised my list of the top 5 candidates for the job.

5. Wayne Rooney – A long shot indeed.  In fact I imagine that most will think that I have gone completely off my rocker in proposing him as the captain.  However, I believe that Rooney has the exact characteristics that you need in a captain.  He is a determined player with a never-give-up style of play, he has the heart of a lion, and he is an absolute winner who never seems to lose the fire to jam just one more goal into the opponents net.  In fact, the only thing that seems to be going against Wazza (his nickname around these parts) is his age.  While we may not see him as captain now, I fully believe that he will one day be the man that captains the English side to greatness.

4. Michael Owen – Probably another long shot, but the boy wonder has now played in three world cups and has one of the longest tenures with the national side.  He is a natural leader who leads not only with his words and character, but with is actions as well.  The biggest downfall for Owen is that he has a bit of a track record when it comes to injuries and is never a sure thing for a friendly, let alone a major international soccer tournament. 

3. Gary Neville – The current Manchester United captain has been a long-time fixture in the first eleven for the English squad, but does he have what it takes to be a national team captain?  Absolutely.  Perhaps his biggest quality is that he is always, always, always poised and under control.  No matter how dire a situation may seem, Neville always appears to be doing his best to lift the spirits of his teammates and make sure that they play their football.  Who knows, maybe he could have saved England from their Euro qualification disaster.  The big issue facing Neville is that fact that he is 32 and will be 35 at the next World Cup.  At that age there are no guarantees that he will be starting or even make the World Cup squad.

2.  John Terry – While the current England and Chelsea captain is a formidable wall at his usual center-back position he is also a natural leader both on and off the pitch.  He has the attitude, both on and off that sacred pitch, that you want in the man that you have selected to lead your side out of the tunnel and through the hellacious 90 minutes to come.  It would be no surprise if Capello chooses to stick with Terry as his captain as the man seems to have very little going against him.

But now, for my top choice… (drum roll please)

1. Steven Gerrard – This is the man who encompasses all of the characteristics from the previous four.  He is full of poise and gumption as well as that fiery grit it takes to wage war for the full ninety minutes and to never ever, ever give up.  If I had to choose a captain I would want a man that would inspire my team to keep going when they have their backs against the wall, and who, when his team needs him most, steps up and says “get on my back” and off he goes.  No matter the score, you will always find Gerrard buzzing about the pitch looking to get stuck in with a tenacious tackle or for his next 35 yard, game-winning crack.  If you are looking for the man that will help to guide England out of the cellar, look no further than Steven Gerrard.

Ok, off the soapbox…

In some more personal news, I had my interview with Fulham yesterday and will be taking the job, and desk, of a woman who is leaving for another job and I will apparently have the title of Press Office Manager.  Now, before you go off thinking that I have some amount of power, stop for just once second.  There is nobody who reports to me, at all (which one of my flat-mates pointed out, it would be horribly embarrassing for someone to have to go home and say “I report to an intern!?!”), I am just there to help guide journalists in their efforts to get the latest scoop from the club (Did you really sign Marlon King for five million pounds? I don’t know you’ll have to stay tuned to find out if that one is true.) or to direct people as to who they need to get in contact with, and I will also help people in setting up interview with players.  I will be working at least one day a week with journalists, and I should get to interview some players and write some stories.  Lastly, and perhaps most interesting to me, my boss informed me that there is the possibility of the signing of another American player (no I don’t know who but I am trying desperately to figure it out) and that there are a lot of Americans living in the Fulham area because of the amount of American players the club has, and that there is a possibility that she will put me on a team that will design a marketing campaign in hopes of tapping that resource.  While I don’t start for another week, I do get some on-the-job training this weekend at the Fulham vs. Arsenal game that will undoubtedly be another life-changing experience. 

I believe that is all for now.  Stay tuned.



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One Comment

  1. John! Fantastic.

    rumor mill fodder:

    We here at SoccerPro world headquarters are buzzing with the rumor that Eddie Johnson has signed with the club!! We need to know, and you’re just the man to break the story. you’re our inside man!