With Nemanja Vidic on his way out of Old Trafford, David Moyes should act now in choosing a new captain. But who are his choices? Unibet's Michael Da Silva takes a look...
It would appear there is little that David Moyes can do to arrest Manchester United’s decline. Or is there?
The manner of United’s 2-2 draw with Fulham on Sunday made it feel like a defeat and, for millions of United fans around the world, this feels like rock bottom.
Moyes is faced with a number of dilemmas: his ageing defence, finding his first choice midfield and discovering a formula to get the best from United’s abundance of attacking talent.
Another is the United captaincy. Nemanja Vidic is off to Inter Milan and, judging by his performances this season, his head is already in Italy. In terms of form and, arguably fitness, Vidic is not the colossal presence he once was on the field and in the dressing room. This, combined with his impending move, has rendered him impotent as a captain – and this is a squad in desperate need of motivation.
Moyes has an opportunity to stamp his authority on the Old Trafford dressing room and appoint a captain in his own image - a player that can represent Moyes on the pitch. And it’s a decision that must be taken now, not in the summer.
The lack of obvious candidates is an indictment of the problems at United. There are very few natural leaders in the squad, but here are five that he could choose...
Robin van Persie
Van Persie captained Arsenal after the departure of Cesc Fabregas and, by all accounts, was a good leader at the Emirates. His experience could help stabilise the club and settle any fears that Van Persie may try to leave in the summer. It’s not always wise to make a striker captain, but RVP has the right blend of experience, respect and personality to be a good candidate.
Many have called for Jonny Evans to be rewarded for his loyalty and improvement with the captaincy. Evans worked his way up through the academy and, after a rocky start to his professional career at United, has become a fine centre-back. He is vocal, can organise and, at 26, is entering the best years of his career.
Carrick has been at United a long time and will be among the candidates for captaincy. Some would argue that his midfielder partner Darren Fletcher would be a more suitable choice, but Fletcher will be keen to focus on his health and get some games under his belt before being considered for the captaincy. Carrick plays in a perfect position to see everything on the field and would captain by example.
The reason to make Rooney United captain is clear: to keep him at United. Handing the England man the captaincy would make him feel valued and, in theory, should keep him at the club for years to come. Given Rooney’s history of hot-headedness, he's perhaps not the best example and such a move would purely be a PR exercise by Moyes. But is it one he can he resist?
WILDCARD: Gerard Pique
Unibet ambassador Ronny Johnsen revealed in his column yesterday that there is speculation that United will make a summer move to re-sign Gerard Pique from Barcelona. If Moyes is serious about that, his package should include the captaincy. United are desperate for some leadership and Pique would be the perfect replacement for Vidic in every respect.
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