With inspirational captain Tommy Elphick going back to the Championship with Aston Villa AFC Bournemouth are left without a leader. Last season, in Elphick’s absence Simon Francis was the man to fill his shoes. Is he the obvious choice for 2016/17? Or, is he the only choice?
Francis is the most senior member of the squad. He has been with the club since the days of League One, he is a defender and he is currently pretty much guaranteed a start, crucial for any captain.
A team needs a leader on the pitch. This can be someone barking orders, telling team-mates what to do, like Tommy Elphick, or someone who leads by example. We think that Simon Francis fits into the second scenario.
His tenure at the helm last season we would say was a success. He commands the respect of the other players and he plays at the back. We at TFTSE Towers think that a captain needs to see the game in front of him. He is not afraid to tell his teammates what he wants from them and gets his message across.
“His tenure at the helm last season we would say was a success. He commands the respect of the other players and he plays at the back”
Now that we have bigged up Mr Francis for the job, who are the alternatives? Looking through the current squad there seems very little competition. The obvious choice for us would have to be Steve Cook. He has been Tommy Elphick’s partner at the back for the entire time the two have been at the club together. He would have seen Elphick in action first hand, he would know what works and put his own twist on it. He also fits the bill on starts, when fit is he guaranteed a spot. In our opinion Cook is our best defender and giving him the captaincy will only drive him forwards to greater success.
So, who else could step into Elphick’s shoes? How about Andrew Surman? He is another guaranteed start, again commands respect from the other players and as a defensive midfielder can still read how the game is unfolding ahead of him. He is a player that would lead by example, he never gives in and he never gives up.
Now going left field, how about Harry Arter? We know this might not seem like the obvious choice, but it may prove to be an inspirational choice. He is vocal, he never gives up, and he drives the team forward and once again is a guaranteed starter when fit. We know his yellow card record suggests he is a bit over-exuberant sometimes, but the extra responsibility could temper his temper and make him a better player. Plus, he would get to speak to the ref as often as he wanted, but in an official capacity.
We have made the case for what we think are the only candidates for the captaincy. Who would you make captain?