Leon Britton is, without a doubt, the stand-out choice for captaincy in the Swans’ dressing room. He’s got experience, composure and at thirty-four, can still put in a shift in the most demanding league in the world.
But – and there is a but – I don’t particularly like having a captain who almost certainly won’t last ninety minutes. Britton was replaced by Jay Fulton with fifteen minutes left to play on Saturday, handing over the armband to another club servant in Wayne Routledge. It was then in the eighty-sixth minute that the Swans’ substitute tally matched that of their captains for the day, as Routledge was taken off.
Last season, it was made clear prior to the season that while Leon Britton would take up the role of club captain, it would be Jack Cork to wear the armband during his absence.
Admittedly, Leon will perhaps be expecting a few more games early on this season giving his impact in our relegation fight last campaign, but I can’t see him lasting ninety minutes too often. Similarly, I don’t expect to see him in the starting eleven every week come October.
Roqe Mesa will, in my opinion at least, step in to fill the huge (believe it or not) boots that Leon Britton will hand over. If he’s used too often at this end of the Premier League season, I fear his experience won’t be there to call upon in the closing months.
With Jack Cork having left for Burnley this Summer, our captaincy situation needs clarifying. To have three players wear the armband in one game, on the opening day, is peculiar to say the least. Even more peculiar perhaps, when the latter of the three captains were Wayne Routledge and Federico Fernandez – neither of whom I would say are ‘captain material’.
When we’ve got a certain Alfie Mawson playing regularly at the back, I think we really are missing a trick by not putting him in the frame for captaincy. He’s publicly said that he would love nothing more than to be given the role, and I doubt many would argue against him having it.
Not only would it benefit him on the pitch, it would also give us a strong hand in the inevitable transfer negotiations that will surround him should he impress again this season.
Say what you like about the role of a captain. Many feel it’s a fairly inconsequential role, but it’s one that will mean a lot to whoever it is that takes it. Leon Britton is a club icon, but with him entering what will likely be the last year of his playing days, I doubt he’d be opposed to helping mould Alfie Mawson into an excellent skipper.