Coventry City manager Tony Mowbray has revealed he is still unsure as to who will be his captain for the forthcoming 2015/2016 season.
Last season saw Steven Pressley name defender Réda Johnson as his captain, until that fallout following the disaster against Worcester City in The FA Cup First Round.
Jim O’Brien then took over the armband, and held onto it until the end of the season. In his absence the armband was shared around between John Fleck, Johnson and Conor Thomas.
But should Mowbray, now heading into his first full season in charge at The Ricoh, keep the armband on O’Brien, or pass it on?
“Obviously every football club needs a captain and sometimes you have two because your club captain is not on the pitch every week, for instance.
“It’s something I’ll address over the next few weeks by seeing who comes in, what sort of personalities we get and see what I think is the right character for the job.
“Let’s see who comes to the fore and shows the qualities I require; it will become evident to everyone as the season gets closer to kick off, but there’s no urgency at the moment.”
The captain for two-thirds of last season, Tony Mowbray will know exactly what he will get with Jim O’Brien. The highest work-rate in the team, and constant communication both on and off the pitch highlights that O’Brien understood the role and responsibilities after replacing Réda Johnson last term.
However, once Mowbray had replaced Pressley, O’Brien was substituted on a number of occassions last season and this may work against O’Brien being given the armband once again for the coming season if he’s unlikely to play 90 minutes of every game.
Likelihood of being named captain: 3/5
The Welsh defender knows what it takes to lead a team out of League One, having captained Wolves to the League One title in 2013/2014 with a club record points total of 103. Also, with 53 Wales caps to his name, Ricketts has played consistently at the highest level throughout his career. Despite his favoured position being full-back it is likely that Mowbray will play the Welshman as a centre-back, a position where constant communication is vital.
Ricketts is undoubtedly the standout choice for the armband.
Likelihood of being named captain: 4/5
Another defender suited to the role, who would be considered as a much more long-term appointment is Jordan Willis. Like Ricketts, he can be utilised in more than position as both a full-back and centre-back. Coventry City at heart, the 20 year old already has over 75 appearances for his hometown club after making his debut in 2011/2012.
With the signing of Sam Ricketts, it is unlikely that Willis’ time to captain his hometown club is upon us yet. Should he stay with the Sky Blues though, he’s definitely a future captain of the team.
Likelihood of being named captain: 2/5
Last season saw the Benin international labelled ‘Captain Fantastic’ but he had the armband taken away from him following a fallout with previous boss Steven Pressley after non-league Worcester City embarrassed the Sky Blues at The Ricoh in The FA Cup First Round. Johnson signed a new one-year contract with the club last week, and despite an injury hit campaign which saw Johnson only make 22 appearances, Johnson only tasted defeat 5 on five occassions. His all-in grab the game by the scruff of the neck attitude on the pitch instantly made him fan’s favourite and his record showed he dragged the team with him.
However, the fallout with Steven Pressley and the stripping of the armband still hangs over Réda’s head and the fact that he missed over half the games last season raises doubts as to whether he would be fit enough the be given the armband back on a full time basis.
Likelihood of being named captain: 3/5
Other options include John Fleck, who took on his responsibility on occassions when Jim O’Brien left the field last season, Marcus Tudgay as the seasoned professional in amongst a younger squad and tough tackling new signing Romain Vincelot who joined from Leyton Orient last week.