One of the first issues for new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal to ponder is who he will appoint club captain.
Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are the two heirs heading the race to sit the throne recently vacated by Inter-bound Nemanja Vidic, with the odds crunchers at bwin.com attributing equal prices 5/4 about either frontman being handed the armband next.
Those who reckon the Dutchman might catch the bookies cold can get 7/2 about him picking any other Red Devil to lead the troops and, given his penchant for referring to the lesser-thumbed chapters of the tactics textbook at the World Cup, this might not be a bad bet.
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After Van Persie captained a Netherlands team under Van Gaal’s tutelage at the World Cup, it seems only logical that he’ll anoint the 30-year-old once again.
However, it appears the new United boss is a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to picking his captains, only handing Van Persie the privilege initially under emergency circumstances.
Had first-choice skipper Wesley Sneijder not let himself go at Galatasaray, prompting Van Gaal to remove him from his post, the centre-midfielder would’ve been the armband-bearer in Brazil.
The likes of Danny Blind, Pep Guardiola and Mark van Bommel have captained club sides managed by Van Gaal throughout his career, with centre-backs or holding-midfielders tending to be favoured.
Continuation of this trend makes experienced anchorman Michael Carrick a viable candidate worth opposing Rooney or Van Persie with.
Keener readers of what is penned between the lines will have duly noted that Carrick’s new boss has already spoken of his disappointment over the ten weeks his number 16 will have to spend on the sidelines following a pre-season ankle injury.
After making over 350 appearances for the Old Trafford club, winning multiple Premier League titles as well as a Champions League and with 31 England caps in his locker, he certainly has the credentials to skipper the Red Devils.