Rumors and reports to be believed are that the returning Manchester United legend Christiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire are now embroiled in a tussle for the Red Devils captaincy. This has left Ralf Rangnick at the center and with a huge decision to make which will impact United’s top 4 aspirations. It is still not clear who instigated the idea but the purpose of which is to take the pressure off Maguire whose performances have made him subject to much criticism. My guess is that it is Ralf who approached both with the proposal. It is no surprise Harry is not having it as the captaincy has a lot of history and pride involved. Today I want to talk about the captaincy and whether it is as important as the three United trio are making it out to be. First and foremost I will start with how the idea of captains in soccer and other disciplines came about. The Captain has no REAL power in terms of the Rules of the game other than the coin toss and receiving the trophy after a final.
However lately referees have been seen calling over the two captains for impromptu meetings on the pitch to resolve niggly conflicts that might pop up. That is basically it. Now the captain , according to soccer norms, is usually they are OLDER and more experienced. Notice the emphasis on older. I guess that is where Ralf and CR7 are coming from. Maguire is only 28 years old and was Captain at 26. Whilst I am not an ageist, it is hard to command a 37 year old superstar and offer advice to him when he has won everything there is to win in soccer except a world cup. Despite its ceremonial position in soccer, the captain’s presence has the potential galvanize a team to perform better than it would have had they not been there. The reverse seems to be true for United in recent games as Lindelof, Bailly and Varane seem to perform better when paired against one another at center back.
Although it was good for the spectators and English soccer that Ronaldo came back , my bet is that Ole when he brought him back didn’t foresee the “political” side of the transfer. Ronaldo has had a big dressing room influence wherever he played. The captain has got an unofficial role as the coach’s representative on the pitch. He also is the go between between an aggrieved player( a player not happy with selection or how he is being used on the pitch) and the coach.That being said the Captain needs to have tactical knowledge of the game. Maguire does have experience mostly from England national team but in club soccer he is a bit short. So in conclusion should Harry keep the armband? I think he should be given a chance to prove himself for the rest of the season. The decision to keep and take from him permanently should be done with respect to him because the coach may not want to damage his confidence at a crucial stage of the campaign. At the same time United should not over inflate the value of the CAPTAINCY.