John Terry: Ranking the Potential Candidates To Succeed Him as England Captain
Love him or loathe him, John Terry is England's captain for the time being.
Having once lost the captaincy after allegedly sleeping with another player's ex-girlfriend, Terry now faces losing the captaincy for a second time if found guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.
At the age of 31, Terry's time as captain is on the wane anyhow.
Perhaps one or two major tournaments at most stand between him and international retirement, so who should we consider as his replacement if manager Fabio Capello does strip him due to the racism row?
Some of England's more experienced internationals now have a limited shelf life due to their age, so should we look at a long-term replacement rather than one who might just take the position on an interim basis?
Whatever your opinion on the matter, here we'll take a look at some of Terry's potential replacements.
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A Manchester United player in the frame to be England captain one day is young Phil Jones, although it is likely he'll miss out being Terry's replacement by being too young.
Since Jones signed for United he has been superb and his performances will merit a regular England spot soon enough.
At 19 years old he may be considered too inexperienced to lead an England side that boasts some seasoned players.
Definitely one to watch for the future, as he has clear leadership credentials on the pitch.
I think he will take the armband one day.
Jones is my outside bet at No. 7.
Rio Ferdinand was stripped of the England captaincy by manager Fabio Capello after only featuring in four of 15 games whilst he had the armband.
With Capello refusing to commit to a new deal with England, Ferdinand may have the chance to redeem himself to any potential new manager.
Ferdinand doesn't have age on his side though, as he currently is 33 years old.
His performances for Manchester United of late have been akin to the Ferdinand of old though, and if he can stay fit then he might still have an England career ahead of him, however short it may be.
Assured and confident on the ball, Ferdinand has an outside chance for being an interim replacement so he's my sixth choice.
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Scott Parker is a Tottenham Hotspur midfielder who surprisingly only has 10 England caps to his name.
Parker has only really started to receive recognition for his performances over the past few years after being in the limelight of big-name players such as Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard.
Parker is a consummate professional who captains Spurs on occasion.
He may lack the European experience of some of the other players, but he is certainly a committed player.
Parker is my fifth-choice option.
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Gareth Barry is my fourth favourite to succeed Terry.
The Manchester City player has slowly become an integral part of Capello's England side but he is not everybody's preference as an England regular.
Again he's another player in his 30s already, but if nothing else Barry is very professional on and off the pitch.
Barry pips Rio Ferdinand in the rankings purely down to his age, and beats Parker due to his likelihood to start for his country.
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Chelsea's Frank Lampard has struggled to maintain his position for his club following the arrival of Andre Villas-Boas but that doesn't seem likely to affect him playing for England when fit.
Lampard has featured in 25 games under Fabio Capello, which is the seventh-highest selection ratio under the Italian.
A club vice captain for Chelsea with bags of experience, Lampard never seems to lose his cool on the pitch.
At 33 years old he is limited in terms of years left playing at international level but has to remain first choice over Gareth Barry.
Lampard is at No. 3 on the replacement list should Terry be stripped of the armband once again.
Perhaps the long-term favourite and eventual England captain is Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney.
Rooney has the drive to be a successful captain and his performances can certainly inspire others.
The only thing I would question about Rooney would be his temperament.
When the chips are down and things aren't going his way, Rooney needs to stay cool and level-headed.
There is no doubt in my mind that Rooney will captain England at some point in his career once some of the older squad members begin to retire.
For that reason alone, Rooney is my No. 2 choice.
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Liverpool club captain Steven Gerrard thrives on being a player who others look to for inspiration.
Whilst he hasn't produced the form for England that he consistently shows for Liverpool, Gerrard may grow as an England player if he were awarded the captain's armband.
Unfortunately for Gerrard, his age is against him taking the role long-term.
Gerrard is currently 31 years old, the same as current captain John Terry, so his time as England captain would be short-lived.
As current England vice captain, Gerrard has to be the favourite to replace Terry if he is stripped of the armband.
After all, if he isn't then the vice captaincy becomes rather pointless.
If Terry maintains the captaincy for England and only loses it when he retires from international duty, then this list would look extremely different as a lot of those mentioned will likely have retired before or with him.
As always with anything opinionated, there can be cases made for various players in the squad to take the position, so I'm sure there will be people reading this article with someone in mind who I haven't even mentioned.
Some people even seem divided on whether Terry should even lose the captaincy if he is found guilty of his alleged racist comments towards Anton Ferdinand, but I sit firmly in the camp that says there's no place for it and anyone found guilty should be punished.
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