If a life of media castigation and blame-shouldering is what you want, then the England captain’s job is the one for you.
Following Steven Gerrard’s retirement from international football, the Three Lions armband is once again up for grabs, with Manchester United frontman Wayne Rooney the heavy 2/5 favourite to assume the duty vacated by the Liverpool legend.
His credentials are plentiful, but if it’s success that Roy Hodgson seeks, he’d better off anointing Rooney’s clubmate, Phil Jones, who resides at the polar opposite end of the betting spectrum.
On the surface, this may sound ludicrous, for the Blackburn academy graduate isn’t even a regular England starter yet and odds of 66/1 for him to get the gig testify to this.
He can do much more than pull funny faces though and making such a left-field appointment may well herald a few golden seasons for the post-Golden Generation Three Lions; here’s how:
A centre-half has been skipper in each of the previous three tournaments that England have done well in.
Tony Adams donned the armband for England’s venture to the semi-finals at Euro ’96, Terry Butcher captained the nation to the last four at Italia ’90 on account of Bryan Robson’s injury and Bobby Moore led his troops to World Cup glory in 1966.
Jones looks a centre-half starter at Old Trafford under one of the world’s finest coaches.
Louis van Gaal’s record of entrusting and enhancing young talent coupled with the Red Devils’ lack of central-defenders means the 22-year-old is not only going to get more game time than he has previously at the heart of the Man Utd defence, he’s going to improve too.
The stuck-on places handed to Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill can’t be so cast iron following England’s World Cup capitulation and strong club showings from Jones could see one of the pair ousted.
David Beckham proved the clean-break theory can work.
Aged just 25, the former Man Utd winger unexpectedly had the honour bestowed upon him in 2000 ahead of a host of more senior candidates.
He guided the country to their most successful spell in recent times – three consecutive quarter finals between 2002 and 2006.