Thoughts of a Manchester United season ticket holder
Thursday, 30 September 2010
Rio is the captain, so why should Vidic wear the armband?
In many ways it is a non issue.
United do indeed have leaders throughout the team so does it really matter who wears that big 'C' on his arm, and gets to lift the silverwear?
To me at least, the answer is yes. And it has a two fold explanation to it. One part is historical and one part is practical, but neither has anything to do with common sense:
When I was a boy (violins start to play) the captain of Manchester United Football Club was Bryan Robson. He was heroic. A leader. A man's man. He led the team on the pitch and was the symbol of the club off it. While Liverpool scooped up title after title we all just gave thanks that we had the best captain on the planet. It mattered to us. Since then we've seen real United icons wear the armband. Since 1982, United have only had FIVE captains. That is an amazing stat in modern football. Robbo, Bruce, Cantona, Keano..and of course Red Nev. I understand that there is a modern slant on the captaincy, as to 'who gives a toss who wears it'...but to me it still represents something..
Which leads me to Nemanja Vidic now leading the team out.
Don't get me wrong. I have great respect for Vida. The man leads by example. Smashing defenders with the efficiency of a Jaap Stam and showing the bravery of a warrior. But in my opinion the guy should not be captain and that is simply because he does not skipper the side when Rio plays. Ferdinand does that job when he starts...as would Neville. I totally get Fergie's reasons for appointing Vida but my opinion still stands true..that the guy who is actually running the show for the team on the pitch deserves 'THE HONOUR' of wearing that armband...and it is an honour to captain Man Utd.
The Valencia game highlighted all this to me like a beacon! Vidic lead the team out, yet Rio lead the team on the pitch. I would rather there was a hierarchy to the captaincy rather than this 'oh he plays the most so he should have it'... I think that's crass. Those who purely lean on the side of common sense will say "but surely its better to have a stable captain", but I say "surely its better to have the RIGHT captain"..you know! The one who actually does the job for 90 minutes!
Ultimately, I don't think any of this will effect results, so I see why some United fans think its some negative tirade against Vidic or what not. But the only reason why I raise the subject is that I view that strip of material as being representative of the history of my football club. You don't just get it cos you play the most...otherwise we would have had Ronaldo as captain not so long ago. He played the most...why not have him as captain every week? In the future, if we are lucky enough to see United lift more silverwear in our lives, I want the real skipper on the pitch to be the lucky guy who gets to be immortalized in all those pictures, lifting the cups, that we look back on over and over again. Not just a guy who was the fittest or the most regular pick.
To some of us die hards, the footnotes in history interest us.
(ps. before anyone comments and gets upset that I haven't mentioned our wonderful smash and grab in Spain last night, as I've said before, I try not to do match reports. Last night was a great European victory at a stadium we thought we would struggle at. The manager got his tactics spot on...and that's why in Sir Alex we trust)
Manchester United fan since the age of 9 when he saw Norman Whiteside curl the ball into a Wembley goal in the dying minutes.
He is an Old Trafford season ticket holder in the North Stand Tier 3...and cried tears of joy, on his knees with the many in Moscow.
Rob is a contributing author/editor at Man Utd blogzine 'The Faithful'