No I haven’t gone power mad nor indeed would I ever want such a position even if the stars cascaded down insanity and I was somehow given the most important job in England. As a Welshman I would probably sabotage the gig anyway and recall Jermaine Jenas while offering debuts to Tony Hibbert and Jody Craddock.

This week however the Cutter is running a series of articles entitled ‘If I Was The Boss’ where a number of contributors imagine themselves installed as gaffer of their respected clubs and offer their thoughts on what they would immediately do to improve things. Which player/s would they bring in from the cold? What tinkering could be done to the present set-up? Who would they target in the summer and who are the deadwood they’d happily cast adrift?

If you are beyond exasperated with the clueless clown currently prowling in the technical dugout wearing a tracksuit in your club’s colours and would like to participate please contact me at

The submission can be any length and we only ask for honesty and passion.

Now then…back to the business at hand.

I thought I’d kick off the series by fictionally taking the reins of the ill-fated England job though, unlike the other examples you’ll read this week, I’m not interested in the personnel or formation required to achieve success. Let’s just suppose for the sake of argument that I pick the best players selected on a form basis and mainly stick to a fluid 4-5-1/4-3-3.

The sole reason I am penning this piece – and placing myself in an imaginary press unveiling sitting alongside David Bernstein and waiting for the murmurs of ‘Who the hell is he?’ to die down – is to finally put to rest a long-running, unnecessary, and baffling saga that has been nothing but a monkey on the nation’s back for as long as I can remember. That being the England captaincy.

Enough already! It’s just a fucking strip of cloth with a big C stitched into it.

Quite why it matters to us so much remains a mystery lost in cultural heritage. My own personal theory is that on the solitary occasion England held aloft a trophy it was done so by an impeccable skipper and leader of men, a classy personification of the very best that we see in ourselves as a sporting nation.

Perhaps the underlying, subconscious conjecture is that if we can somehow find and mould a captain in Bobby Moore’s image then the rest – glory and rediscovered pride – will duly follow?

If so then that’s one hell of an unfair yardstick on which to judge the current incarnations, especially considering that the likes of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand are to Moore what Nick Clegg is to Winston Churchill.

Whatever the reason is the fact remains that we, as a nation, place an exaggerated value upon the armband, so much so that when it was passed around willy-nilly at a friendly a few years ago Albion erupted in fury as if a new-born baby was being lobbed from hotel balcony to balcony.

This over-estimation of a trivial piece of symbolism perplexes the rest of Europe who usually hand the captaincy to their most senior player and be done with it and it has now reached such farcical importance to us that the stripping of the ‘honour’ (because it always has to be referred to as such) is enough to unbalance the unity of the whole squad and leads to the resignation of the manager just months before a major tournament.

Enough already! It’s just a fucking strip of cloth with a big C stitched into it.

So with that in mind the very first thing I would declare – as the murmuring quietened and curiosity took hold in a bamboozled press room – is that during my tenure, no matter if it’s only one game or a hundred, the captaincy of the national side will always be entrusted with the goalkeeper.

Hell, if I had my way, the replica goalie jerseys would have an armband embroidered onto each.

Not Joe Hart exclusively; though he is an extremely articulate, sensible and likable lad who would do the role impeccably. It will be the goalkeeper, whoever he may be. Hell, if I had my way, the replica goalie jerseys would have an armband embroidered onto each.

If it is a debutant number one then the senior members of the squad should agree to take on the mantle of the press interviews leading up to the game. Because once the politic and perceived honour of being captain is diminished to its rightful level of inconsequence that is all that would separate the captain from his team-mates – the responsibility to deal with the press. That and walk out first from the tunnel.

On the field I would expect players such as Terry, Gerrard and Rooney to be leaders anyway and do the skipper-y things such as cajole and encourage.

Why on earth do they require an armband to do that?

It is hoped that once the captaincy issue dwindles from prominence we will all look back at the times it was considered so important and realise there was absolutely no benefit to holding the role in such high regard. Plenty of in-house bickering and unrest and disharmony certainly. But name one positive aspect that has ever come from it?

We have to readdress some major themes that are ingrained in our national psyche should we wish to triumph in a World Cup or Euro Championship and one of them is this – that we don’t need a leader to take us to glory, instead we must have men who don’t need to be led.