Anfield skipper favourite for national role.
Stewart Downing says that Liverpool club-mate Steven Gerrard would be his choice as England captain as his country go into a midweek friendly with Holland without either a permanent manager or skipper.
The Football Association’s decision to strip John Terry of the armband – which presaged Fabio Capello’s resignation – has undermined England’s preparations for the Euro 2012 tournament, with Stuart Pearce in temporary control from the dugout.
But Downing thinks Gerrard is the man for the armband.
“He’s captained Liverpool for many years and done very well and if picked for England would do that job well,” the winger told reporters at a press conference.
“He’s a big player for Liverpool and England, has a great influence on England and drives teams on, so if he is given the captaincy then great.”
Gerrard has already stated his own interest in the role.
“If I get offered it, I’ll take it and I’ll be delighted and I’ll be very proud to take it,” confirmed Gerrard.
“But it’s not my decision. It’s down to, first of all, who Stuart Pearce wants to lead the team out, then whoever gets the job full time.
“But I want to be England captain.”
Still, it is far from certain Gerrard would be a long term choice, as he interestingly hinted at international retirement after UEFA Euro 2012.
“It’s something I am going to have to sit down and think about after the Euros this summer.
“I’ve not spoken to anybody about it yet, nor have I made any decision about what I might I do because there are a lot of things to consider.
“I’m just fully focused on doing as well as I can for Liverpool this season and then playing in the Euros for England. After that we will see that happens.
“I am aware of the future, the injuries I’ve had and I want to play for Liverpool for as long as I can.
“I also know there are quite a few players who have stopped playing international football to prolong their club careers and it’s helped them to do that.”