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Taylor tips Gerrard to replace Terry

Former England boss Graham Taylor believes that Fabio Capello will make Steven Gerrard the national side’s new captain.

The FA announced on Friday that John Terry had been stripped of the armband, as he awaits trial over charges of racial abuse, and Taylor admitted that he thought the correct decision had been made, adding that the Liverpool midfielder would be his choice if he returns to form.

“(Steven) Gerrard’s been captain before and I’d expect (England boss Fabio) Capello to give it to him,” Taylor told BBC Sport.

“If he gets his top-class form back, I think I would do the same.”

“This is the correct decision. The FA have got it right, though they’ll be accused of getting it wrong.”

“It’s a recognition of the embarrassment that could be caused both for (John) Terry and the England team.”

“Terry will feel let down by the FA. He will feel upset because he’s made it very clear that he could handle the situation.”

“Playing on the football pitch is an escape for him.”

“But they have taken the captaincy away so he will not be put into public positions as he would have been had he been captain. I think that helps him.”

Gerrard has taken on the role before, as a trial when Capello first took control in 2008 and with Rio Ferdinand ruling himself out of the running, the Liverpool midfielder is the favourite to replace Terry.

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart and Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker have also been tipped as possible choices, but Taylor, who also had two spells as Aston Villa boss, does not see them as viable options.

“While I understand that argument about keepers being captains because they can see the whole pitch, I’m still not a lover of it,” he said.

“He’s sometimes too far away from people to really make his influence felt.”

“(Scott) Parker has done extremely well. Whether he would be able to accept the captaincy at that level I don’t know. I don’t know him well enough.”

The 67-year-old added that he was disappointed that Capello had not been involved in the events, hinting that he expected the Italian might not have agreed with the decision.

“I would have liked to have heard that Capello was involved, or had at least been told before it became public,” he said.

“Having brought him back as captain I can imagine Fabio would have seen it as very difficult to pull him out.”

Sat 4 Feb, 2012
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