Robin van Persie is being touted as the next Manchester United captain
Guest Author: Mitchell Jones
You may not have been aware of this, given how little coverage football has received this summer, but Manchester United have replaced the managerial turd that was David Moyes with a pair of giant Dutch testicles by the name of Louis van Gaal. Given the hype of the media and the supporters, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the champions are back in town. The champions who, well, aren’t actually the champions any more.
Things have gotten so bad at Old Trafford that United don’t even have a team captain any more. Our last one, Nemanja Vidic, decided he couldn’t live up to Moyes’ expectations of everyone playing like Phil Jagielka and shipped himself off to Inter Milan. Patrice Evra saw the writing as well, begging his way into Juventus before he was pushed out in favour of youth. That left Rio Ferdinand, who was told to pack his bags and follow suit. He’s now at Queens Park Rangers, exchanging banterous tweets with his new teammates and hocking his branded merchandise to anything he can put a cap on: footballers, rappers, mannequins, pigeons, lampposts, etc.
So now van Gaal, a mere few weeks into his new post, has a monumental decision to make. With the captain and vice-captain positions open, who will he deem fit to lead the new United back into the promised land of top four glory?
Robin van Persie
The media darling of the team, van Persie has been considered the early favourite since van Gaal was sworn in. The two have a lot in common: both are Dutch and have been known to eat, sleep, breathe and point at things. But their time in the Netherlands’ World Cup campaign is what brought them together as men. The boss has indicated that any potential captain must be ambitious, which suits the little boy inside RVP just fine. If you can’t be considered ambitious after coming out with that load of cock and bullshit, what can you be?
Verdict: A strong favourite.
Surely, no one in United history has transferred their name value and occasional flashing of brilliance into such a political minefield. On one hand, ‘Wazza’ has pulled United from the wreckage of burning buildings all too often, confirming his place as a future United legend. On the other hand, his nickname is ‘Wazza’ and that’s just unforgivable. You can probably put a timer on the next time he decides to kick off about something too, whether it’s the lack of club ambition or a missing zero at the end of his pay cheque. His acting inability shouldn’t count against him, but he did once tease going into standup comedy. According to the tabloids, he considers himself the next Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown, which is like me aspiring to be ‘H’ from Steps.
Verdict: Not ideal, but seems an inevitability at some point.
Considered by many to be one of those mythologised ‘central midfielders’ that you hear other teams talking about. I don’t know much about these creatures, but they seem to be of great importance to clubs these days and we should do everything in our power to prolong their increasing presence. Herrera has impressed so far in pre-season, but then so would a melting bar of chocolate if it played next to Tom Cleverley.
Verdict: Anything that reminds us to use a central midfielder that isn’t Tom Cleverley.
I wanted to write the word No in bold, size 72 capital letters, but someone clearly gave the team sheet to their child and allowed them to scrawl a (C) next to Cleverley’s name during a pre-season friendly. Hopefully the child has been scolded for their mischief. Knowing United, they’re probably next in line as Executive Vice-Chairman.
Verdict: Too many better options to choose from: footballers, rappers, mannequins, pigeons, lampposts, etc.
Definitely has the face of a leader. But then, depending on where the wind is blowing, he also has the face of a stroke victim looking at himself in a puddle. Our last captain was a centre back so there is no reason for Jones not to take the brass ring. If he can channel his disregard for personal safety into regular, inspirational performances then Sir Alex’s claim of Jones being our greatest-player-in-waiting may not be as farfetched as it sounds.
Verdict: Unlikely now, but possible in the future.
Dark horse contenders
Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick could make an argument for themselves if they can reclaim their form of previous seasons. Antonio Valencia and Nani are lucky not to be on their way to medicals elsewhere, but the former did a stellar job with Ecuador over the summer and his passion cannot be denied. Juan Mata is a great player but about as intimidating as a packet of crisps, Javier Hernandez would rather have been anywhere else last season and, in the grand scheme of big haired candidates, I’d sooner give the armband to ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic than to Marouane Fellaini.
Verdict: Piss off!
Any one of the aforementioned stars could take the armband and make it their own, which is why Van Gaal has chosen to deliberate over his decision, rotating the captaincy in order to gauge individual qualities and abilities. Were I given the opportunity to choose, I’d probably sign Roy Keane and instruct him to walk around the pitch, ignoring the play to deliver scathing critiques to his teammates.
Since that’s a near-impossibility though, I suppose I’ll settle for whoever gets the nod. If van Gaal’s summer exploits earned anything, it was the trust of the supporters to believe in his judgement. Whatever the decision, I will support it all the way. If he does choose Anderson though, I must insist he reconsider his options. Lamppost, anyone?