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Alan Shearer says it’s impossible for Sam Allardyce to name a permanent England Captain

| 28.08.2016

Who will be England captain and even get into the first Sam Allardyce squad is one of football’s most debated topics, so Coral’s Simon Clare sat down with football ambassador Alan Shearer to get his exclusive thoughts.

Shearer, a former Three Lions skipper himself, talks about what wearing the armband meant to him and what he thinks Big Sam will do with the appointment.

Besides his thoughts on the next England captain, Alan also discusses the international future of Wayne Rooney…

England captaincy “the biggest and best thing that ever happened to me in football”

Euro 2000 Shearer celebration

I can tell you from experience that captaining England was the biggest and best thing that ever happened to me in football. To be named England Captain is the greatest honour you can get.

Having said that I don’t think Sam Allardyce can make any one player the permanent England Captain right now.

There’s not one player who came out of the Euros with any credit. Sam doesn’t even know his best team yet, so it’s impossible for him to name anyone when nobody’s even guaranteed a starting position in the team.

For now, Sam should name a captain game by game until he knows his team and until someone demonstrates that they will be a regular starter and that they have what it requires to take on the responsibility of the England captaincy in the long-term.

Rooney not guaranteed to start

EURO 2016 - Round of 16 England vs Iceland

Take Wayne Rooney, is he guaranteed to start? No-one is, because there is not one player at this moment in time that is guaranteed to start in an England shirt because of their performances in the European Championships.

I know it will be a big story in the media if he doesn’t name Rooney as the captain but knowing Wayne, I think he’ll accept it and understand it because even he didn’t perform well enough during the Euros. Even he’s not guaranteed his place.

Being England captain is much more than just being a leader on the pitch. You are there as an ambassador and a figurehead. You’re the one people come to, and the one the opposition look at and see as the permanent guy in the team. The honour of it is unbelievable.

Allardyce to use skipper search as “motivating factor”

Sam Allardyce File Photo

I think Sam will use the fact that he’s looking for a permanent captain as a motivating factor, and look for players to effectively put their hand up for it and demand it by putting in great performances in the first few games of the World Cup qualifying campaign. In effect he’ll be saying to them “do you want it, because it’s up for grabs?”

The next permanent England Captain needs to be a player that is one, guaranteed to start, two, someone that the other players look up to and when things aren’t going right, they look to for inspiration to win a game or save a game from a difficult position.

That player isn’t there for England right now. The Euros proved that. There is a great incentive for a player to go out and perform on a regular basis for England, and then who knows, they could be the next England Captain.

One way of looking at it is that Sam has a blank sheet of paper to start with, and it can’t get any worse than it was in the Euros. He is basically starting from scratch, with his own methods and his own backroom staff but I don’t believe he has to name his permanent captain just yet.


Visit the Shearer says archive for more of Alan’s opinions.



Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer played his entire career at the top level of English football, winning the Premier League title with Blackburn in 1994-95. The following summer he signed for his hometown club, Newcastle United, for a then world record £15 million fee.

He ended his playing career with a record 260 Premier League goals, which still stands today. He also won 63 caps for England, including 34 as captain, and among his 30 international goals were five scored at Euro 96, a total that won him the Golden Boot at that tournament.

Now the chief pundit on Match Of The Day, Alan was one of the first two players inducted into the Premier League Hall Of Fame this year.