QPR: Who should gain the captain's armband?
Following Joey Barton’s disgraceful behaviour at the Etihad Stadium in May the captain’s armband is now vacant at QPR, but who will Mark Hughes entrust with the honour this season?
Below are the players who may well be the front runners for the role.
One of only a handful of players still at the club who were crowned Championship champions just over a year ago, Clint Hill has proven himself time and again to be a player who will give everything for the QPR cause. Loaned out to Nottingham Forest in January 2012 after the arrival of Mark Hughes as manager, Hill’s time at QPR looked all but over.
After his return from loan Hill could’ve been forgiven for letting his head drop, and losing interest in helping QPR survive relegation to the Championship. Instead, he produced one committed display after another, and eventually claimed both the Player and the Player’s Player of the Year awards; this perfectly illustrates the character of the man.
Determination and passion personified, Hill has all of the main attributes required of a prospective captain. His age may count against him, as at nearly 34 he is certainly not guaranteed an automatic place in the first team, but purely for his desire to prove his worth at QPR, Hill deserves to at least be considered for the vacant captain’s armband.
At 27, Ferdinand is now approaching a period in his career where he should be accruing the optimal mixture of experience and youth required to make him both a leader in the dressing room and a regular member of the first team for the next five to six years; both desirable traits in any potential captain.
Although not blessed with outstanding ability on the pitch, the fact that Ferdinand plays as a centre back may certainly work in his favour as far as the captaincy is concerned. The centre back berth is seen as a preferred captain’s position by many throughout the footballing world, as it enables the player to survey the full extent of the pitch, and organise the team far quicker than a captain who is a striker for example. This is perhaps not the ideal reason for appointing a player as captain, but it is certainly a factor that Mark Hughes will consider before making his decision.
The reason for not making Ferdinand captain is quite obvious, a certain court case which I shouldn’t need to go into in any great detail about. The accused incident (and subsequent not guilty verdict) involving John Terry clearly took its toll on Ferdinand both on and off the pitch (a notable slope in form was evident throughout the second half of last season), so making him QPR captain may be deemed an additional pressure that he could do without at present.
Conversely, Hughes may feel that the QPR captaincy may give Ferdinand the perfect opportunity to demonstrate that he has put the events of October 23 behind him, and that he is fully concentrating on the season ahead.
Signing from Manchester United for £2.5 million, Park Ji Sung would certainly prove to be the most popular choice to replace Joey Barton as QPR captain. Park has the top level experience, on-field leadership qualities and footballing ability that make him stand out as an obvious choice for the captaincy; his combative style of play also lends itself well to that of a captain's role, his astonishing work rate and boundless energy setting an example for the rest of the team to follow.
There is no doubting that Fernandes would also welcome the idea of Park as captain, as this would only enhance his commercial worth, especially in his native South Korea. Cynical or not, this commercial aspect would certainly give Park an obvious advantage of being named captain over any other member of the QPR squad.
It is reasonable to suggest that he may not know his QPR teammates well enough at this stage for him to be awarded the captaincy, but this will naturally improve throughout the season. An excellent player, model professional, and an icon in the country of his birth, Park could well be the fore-runner for the captain’s vacancy at present.
The Argentinean may seem something of a longshot for the role of QPR captain, maybe due to his inability to speak English fluently, but the talented Argentinean possesses many qualities many that would make him stand out as a possible candidate for the position.
It could however be argued that the opportunity to assume the position of QPR captain might have come too soon for Faurlin; He is still recovering from a long term knee injury, and may feel that he needs to focus entirely on his own game at this stage of his rehabilitation, without concerning himself with the additional inconvenience of organising and motivating the rest of the team.
There are perhaps more obvious candidates for the armband in the immediate future, but Faurlin certainly displays all of the hallmarks of a potential captain in the making.
Article by John Jaycock
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