Hull City: Brown Is Barmy for Battler Barmby

Brian RhodesSenior Analyst IOctober 1, 2009

Speculation has been rife in the Tiger-nation as to the name of the new Hull City Skipper.

The Tigers have seriously missed long term Captain and Hull City legend Ian Ashbee. Ashbee, the first player to captain the same club through all four English Divisions, was injured in the May 4th clash with Aston Villa last season.

Phil Brown said of the influential captain, "A lot of people have made reference to Ian Ashbee not being able to play Premier League football, but you don't realise what you have until it's gone."

Since Ashbee's absence from the side with possible career ending posterior cruciate ligament injury, the Tiger's have been rudderless. Brown has handed the Skipper's arm band to a number of players such as Michael Turner, who has since left for pastures new at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland.

Veteran midfielder George Boateng has been a custodian of the armband as has Paul MacShane and Ibrahima Sonko, but it was announced today that Kingston upon Hull native Nick Barmby would become the Hull City skipper.

The appointment of Barmby, the 35 year old ex-England international, has raised some eye brows amongst Hull City's frustrated fan base. There is no doubting Barmby's credentials to be the team captain, just his ability to play a full 90 minutes of a game.

Brown said of Barmby on the Official Hull City website, "this is something that has got Nicky's name written all over it."

"He has matured into a leader, none more so than over the last couple of years at Hull City. He's had a lot of close relationships with managers during his career and I feel as though I have got a close relationship with him.

"We speak frankly about things and we share things, none more so than about what is happening at Hull City at the moment.

"He is a strong enough character in the dressing room."

However good he may be as a leader, managerial confidant and strong character it doesn't address his playing time.

This season Barmby has only played around 170 minutes of a possible 630 minutes of Premiership football, and most of those have been from the bench. Last season Barmby would only play approximately an hour of a game if he started.

So, for Brown to appoint him as the team captain seems like an odd act. There seems to be no logic to the appointment. The team will be bereft of the captain on a regular basis if Barmby role isn't to change.