I will be getting your views on the captaincy at Elland Road in part two. Sol Bamba is currently the club captain, Liam Cooper is vice-captain and Luke Murphy filled in against Shelbourne last Wednesday. Bamba was the obvious choice last summer but is he in line to retain it under Garry Monk?
Sol Bamba was the clear favourite last summer, having captained the side during his loan spell in 2015. He was a pivotal figure as Leeds steered away from the bottom end of the table. After some haggling over his contract he signed on a permanent last summer and Uwe Rosler quickly made it official, Bamba would lead the team into the season.
What’s the issue?
The main issue for me is whether Bamba will command a starting place in the team. It has been known for club captains not to play but the idea is slightly farcical and probably wont happen under Garry Monk. There has been talk of Bamba leaving the club in recent days but I don’t think that’s a good move. Bamba is a clearly a big personality and has a wealth of experience in football. He has his good days and his bad days and the inconsistency could cost him his place. The prospect of Bamba and Bartley at centre-back does appeal to me though, physical and experienced. If Bamba is first choice at the back I would expect him to reclaim the role. The arrival of Bartley certainly adds quality in the centre of defence.
While I’m there I’ll carry on, Kyle Bartley. His experience may well mean he is a candidate for the role. I’m not a fan of loan players getting it but as you will see many fans are making the case for the defender. Whether or not he will have time to become such an influence in the dressing room remains to be seen.
Liam Cooper is currently the vice-captain but has had the armband many a time considering he was the back-up. Cooper is still young and is a favourite amongst the Leeds players. The fans seem to like Cooper and can see the potential. Playing alongside a composed and experienced player such as Kyle Bartley will definelty improve him both on and off the pitch. A Yorkshire lad and as honest and humble as they come he may well get the nod if he is to play before Bamba. I don’t think many would have an issue with this.
Gaetano Berardi? Berardi is probably the most popular player along with Charlie Taylor. After an ill disciplined start to his Leeds career he came full circle to the point where he is arguably our most consistent performer. A warrior on the park and a player who refused to get drawn into controversy where others who arrived from the same country at the same time did. The departure of Sam Byram was remarkably easy on the park as Berardi had already filled Byrams natural berth at right-back. Maybe not a speaker but could lead by example in his football.
Robert Green or Luke Murphy? Both have had mentions but neither for me. Green possesses huge experience which will be crucial for the team but it doesn’t seem like a realistic option. Murphy captained the side last week but his place is also under siege from others in the squad.
For me it would be Liam Cooper and Gaetano Berardi. The reasons are simple. Both are respected amongst fans and the players and both will probably play when fit. If Liam Bridcutt was to sign, although that possibility seems highly unlikely then I think I’d give it straight to him. He led the team even when he was having a bad day last season. Time will tell who will gain or regain the role, your views up next.