Jude Ellery examines whether Anfield man Steven Gerrard will be made permanent captain – and whether The Guardian is on a slippery slope towards tabloidism.
What is it with The Guardian recently? First they leap on board the Bebé-bashing bandwagon, and now they are dreaming up headlines that simply do not match the article’s content.
In a piece entitled ‘Fabio Capello considers making Steven Gerrard full-time captain’, one would assume there would follow a quotation from the manager stating something along the lines of ‘I am considering giving Gerrard the captaincy full time.’ Not so. Nothing even remotely close to this. After scouring the article, the evidence that Dominic Fifield seems to be using is the following:
“Is there another question, another question? For me, the performance of the player is important, not the armband. It is not a priority for me. It is more about the players, the performance, the next game. Another question, please.”
There is reading between the lines, and then there is reading lines that do not exist. Far from being ‘uncomfortable’ with the question, Capello was probably fed up with the press bringing up an issue on which he has already clarified his stance. Fifield himself states in the article: ‘Capello has consistently stated that Ferdinand remains his captain.’
The captain of a team should be someone who plays regularly and can thus influence the team’s on-field morale. The Liverpool man fits this bill perfectly, while due to recurrent injuries, Rio Ferdinand does not. So it might well be that when (if?) Ferdinand returns to the international setup, Gerrard will retain the armband. But it is baffling that such a well-esteemed newspaper has come to this conclusion on its own, without any solid reasoning. There may well be a case for a change in leadership – but how about waiting until Capello actually says this before reporting it?
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