Scott Brown has officially stepped down as Scotland captain after winning 50 caps for his country. With the World Cup qualifiers fast approaching, Gordon Strachan faces a race against time to appoint his successor. Who within the squad is best placed to be given the captain’s armband?
Fletcher is the obvious choice and was never actually demoted from the role of captain. Brown only took over the role after the West Bromwich Albion player contracted colitis four years ago. Fletcher is a safe pair of hands and with 73 caps has the most experience in the squad. He also has the added credential of being the captain of West Brom and started all 38 games for his club last season.
Experience aside, Fletcher is popular in Scotland dressing room, a true professional and is an excellent communicator on the pitch. That said, there is the issue that he isn’t always guaranteed a place in Gordon Strachan’s starting 11. Moreover, when he does start it’s rare that he plays a full 90 minutes.
Unlike Darren Fletcher, Russell Martin is one of the first names on the Scotland team sheet. The Norwich City defender has been a mainstay in the Scotland side ever since Gordon Strachan took over as boss. Martin is captain for his club, so already has a proven track record of sorts. He too has good leadership qualities. He’s a hardworking professional who speaks a lot of sense and is a leader on the pitch. With 25 caps for his country, Martin could well be Strachan’s ideal choice for captain.
At 28-years-old, Snodgrass is in the prime of his career. More importantly he’s now arguably Scotland’s best player and is a vital part of Gordon Strachan’s squad. He’s more experienced now and has shown that he can play at the highest level with both Hull and Norwich City.
Snodgrass also has the attributes you look for in any captain; he’s vocal on the pitch and is not short of confidence. The only argument against him is that he’s accumulated just 17 caps for his country. Gordon Strachan may want the person who’s wearing the captain’s armband to have more international experience.
There’s also the argument that it’s time for Scotland’s new guard to step forward. At 24, Grant Hanley is significantly younger than the other candidates, but would be a good choice if the manager was willing to be bold. Hanley may be younger, but already he has accrued 23 caps for Scotland.
He’s also been snapped up by Newcastle United this summer in their attempts to bring Premier League football back to St James’ Park. Hanley is definitely the wildcard on this list and it has to be said that with Gordon Strachan’s cautious approach to management, he’s the most unlikely to be chosen.