Close
Skip to content

The next Spurs captain

4 min read
by Editor

The captain issue has been a contentious one at Spurs for quite some time, James Highsted makes his debut on The Fighting Cock by looking back at our great captains, and picking the man he thinks could lead us to glory in the future.

With uncertainty over the new stadium, and poor results on the pitch, there are plenty of issues for Spurs fans to lament about. So far this season, spurs have struggled defensively; failed to find a consistent goal scorer and settle on a starting eleven.

The first issue that must be addressed, however, is Tottenham’s glaring lack of leadership and having a strong, reliable captain who plays regularly.

This is incredibly frustrating given Tottenham’s proud history of producing captains who were successful, talented players and whom gave so much of their careers to the club. For decades spurs have produced these players; dependable figureheads, with years of service and have all lifted trophies as Tottenham captains:

Danny Blanchflower

The Northern Ireland man is still the benchmark for any Spurs captain. In a ten year career at the lane, Blanchflower captained to the club to the 1961 league and cup double- the first team of the 20th century to do that- the 1962 FA cup, the 1962 European cup semi-final and the 1963 European cup winner’s cup- the first British side to lift a European trophy.

Steve Perryman

With 866 appearances to his name, Perryman is Spurs’ longest serving player. Between 1969 and 1986, he lifted the FA cup, league cup and UEFA cup. He lifted each trophy on two occasions.

Gary Mabbutt

Mabbutt became a stalwart at Tottenham. As Spurs’ second longest serving player, he spent eleven of his sixteen years as captain; this included guiding the club to the 1991 FA cup.

Sol Campbell

Feel free to spit venom at me for this one. Campbell will never be forgiven for his treacherous move to the old enemy in 2001, but what cannot be denied is his quality as a player- with his power, pace and confidence on the ball- and strong leadership skills.

A year after being made Spurs captain he was given the chance to lead England- at the time the second-youngest player to do that after Bobby Moore. He lifted the 1999 league cup; the first black player to lift a major trophy at Wembley.

Ledley King

What more can be said about this Spurs legend that has not been said already. The one club man was heavily praised by fans and fellow professionals alike. A suburb tackler of the ball, Thierry Henry described him as the best defender he ever played against. Who knows what King could have achieved if it were not for his persistent knee problems. He did, however, lead Spurs to their first trophy in nine years, with a win over Chelsea in the 2008 league cup final.

What makes it difficult for a lot of Spurs players to stake a claim for the captaincy is that Maurico Pochettino is still not sure what his first XI is; a lot of players are coming in and out of the team- with an ever-changing back four.

Spurs’ fixture against Hull is a reminder of the strong defensive presence Michael Dawson had. While “Daws” may have had his injury problems, and struggled with certain types of play, he was a natural leader, a good tackler of the ball and at the time of his departure was Spurs’ longest serving player in the team.

Looking at the present incumbent, Younes Kaboul, it is clear that a change is needed. Kaboul’s capricious nature inhibits him from being an influence on the field. Kaboul’s past issues with fitness and injury are a cause for concern. He missed the entire 2012/13 season with a knee problem, and has had further injuries, subsequently.

Moreover, there have been misgivings over his diet and fitness over the years; leading to accusations that he was overweight.

He can, at times, be a liability at the back. While he is a big, strong powerful unit, he can be error-prone and inept defensively. His high-profile blunder at Anfield last season was a particular low-point.

While Hugo Lloris is a candidate- he is always in the first team, both in the premier league and Europa league- his influence on the pitch will always be limited because he is a goalkeeper. Lloris would find it difficult to influence attacking set plays; he also cannot calm situations down on certain parts of the field because he is in goal.

The successful candidate should firstly be a constant presence in the team; be young and can lead Spurs for many years to come; as well as have talent, pace and skill.

For me, that man is Kyle Walker.

This may be a strange choice, given that Walker has been out since March with a pelvis injury, but I believe he ticks all the boxes, long-term.

At twenty-four years of age, he has a great future ahead of him, and in that respect could be Spurs’ solution to the captaincy problem for the next ten years.

He’s an accomplished and skilled defender, who is as confident attacking as he is staying at the back. In addition to that, he provides a great option as a free-kick taker. Consequently, he was called up to the England squad, and became to 2012 PFA young player of the year.

Walker also appears regularly for the first team. Before his injury, Walker was a constant presence after establishing himself as a first-team regular. In the 2011-12 season he played 37 out of 38 games; the following season he notched up 36 games, thus proving his consistency; he would also be a constant presence in what is an ever-changing back four.

Kyle Walker could return from injury next month, with a London derby against Chelsea being lined-up as a possible comeback game.

Under his captaincy, the Spurs will go marching on!

All views and opinions expressed in this article are the views and opinions of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of The Fighting Cock. We offer a platform for fans to commit their views to text and voice their thoughts. Football is a passionate game and as long as the views stay within the parameters of what is acceptable, we encourage people to write, get involved and share their thoughts on the mighty Tottenham Hotspur.

5 Comments

  1. Nik
    26/11/2014 @ 2:11 pm

    James

    I would argue that not all the historical players you list were great captains. Great players yes, but not necessarily captains.

    Mabbutt – was far too nice, didn’t bring players in line , was a ‘sit on the fence’ skipper. Listen to Steve Perryman (perhaps for me our greatest captain) for his views on Mabs as a skipper. Will tell you all you need to know. Daws is for me, in that same ‘Mr Nice Guy’ mould. Certainly not Alpha males, either of them.

    Campbell – not a great skipper. He is perhaps as quiet a captain as you ever see. He is a loner, a guy that speaks only when spoken to. Not the sort that you would think can raise the spirits and focus levels of the team. Plus it is known that he was disliked by many that played with him. Not that popularity in itself is a marker of captain suitability.

    Kaboul was chosen as captain by Poch. On, it seems, his observations of his command of the team, his ability to be heard, his ability to say it like it is, his command of languages and overall respect that he seemed to generate.
    Not it seems, on his playing ability or his ability to stay injury free.
    My point it – that I think that Kaboul is probably a good captain – just not in our team.

    I want a leader that is intelligent, that sees the game unfolding (so ideally is centrally positioned) and is bold enough to make changes or shout at players to fall in line. But he needs to be decent too (Which sadly rules out Kaboul based on this seasons start)

    This brings me to your suggestion of Walker. Decent player but plays wide right. But that isn’t the biggest issue I have. Kyle Walker is, and I am trying to be as gentle as I can here…. well , he is a little short in the intelligence department. He came to an event I was at and we shook hands and spoke. The thing that struck me was the utter vacuum that appeared to be between his ears. If a captain can’t articulate and annunciate – he won’t be effective. He can’t be.

    For me, the outsider is Mason. He is bright, smart, ballsy, a little aggressive and decent too. He comes across well in interviews and speaks intelligently of the game. Whether all that can make up for the lack of minutes he has at this level is another discussion.

  2. Levy Out, ENIC out
    26/11/2014 @ 2:13 pm

    Good article and I like your choice of Walker as captain, too. Kaboul was a shocking choice and he shouldn’t even be first choice at centre-half. A baffling decision by our Manager to give him the captaincy.

  3. kev brewer
    26/11/2014 @ 6:47 pm

    Interesting, but surely the best candidate (and one who ticks your boxes for youth, goalscoring and passion for the shirt) is Ryan Mason. He already shows leadership and discipline on the field, and isn’t scared to give out the bollockings when necessary. Also, given his DM role he is in a good part of the field to see and respond to what’s in front of and behind him.

  4. Oliver
    29/11/2014 @ 2:20 pm

    Remember that Walker was laughably picked over Title winning Sergio Aguero for that young player of the year, he typifies over hyped English talent. Lloris captain’s his nation and is easily Spur’s best performer, but yeah lets give to the guy who hasn’t played at all this season, because he can take free kicks ????

  5. Michael Johnson
    29/11/2014 @ 4:27 pm

    For me it would be Ryan Mason. He may need another 6 months but I think he is Spurs for life. He is gritty. He is unafraid. Personally I think he should captain England as well in 2016. Right now he is a better player than Steven Gerrard. Come Euro 2016 he should clearly be in the starting XI.

    Love Kyle Walker, but I am not sure he would respond well to the pressure and responsibility of being a captain.

Would you like to write for The Fighting Cock?