The Most Unfitting Captain In Every Premier League Club's History

The role of the club captain is one of the most crucial in soccer with every team focusing on choosing the right person to represent the club both on and off the pitch, leading them out week in and week out.

It is a huge responsibility to be given the armband of a club, a role chosen specifically by the manager as that person is responsible for being the leader of the team, in the dressing room, at training, and most importantly on a match day.

They are expected to wear their heart on their sleeve, help gain the right results with positive performances, whether that be by scoring goals, creating chances or keeping clean sheets depending on their position.

The captain is often to intermediate between other players and the management if things are going wrong or there is any trouble within the dressing room and as soccer evolves, and the importance of press and social media grows, the captain's job only seems to be increasing.

That is why the decision of who is the club captain is one of the most important ones that can be made during a season, but that doesn't meant it is always done right. Often team's have unfitting captains who shouldn't have the armband, whether that's because of their behavior, their performances or something else, and this article will be looking at examples of that for every Premier League club.

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20 Arsenal - Manuel Almunia

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Having your goalkeeper as the captain makes perfect sense for a soccer team, they are always going to be loud and talkative because they must communicate with the back four, and they can see the entire game unfolding in front of their eyes.

That is the thought process that Arsenal had when Manuel Almunia was given the captain's armband during his spell at the London club, and on paper it all makes sense. However, in practice, it didn't work out for Arsenal because Almunia simply wasn't a leader.

Almunia was a quiet player who always seemed nervous and appeared to have a mistake in his game that was ready to take place at any point.

He seemed like a player who needed a captain to talk to him rather than him being the talker and that is why his run as captain didn't last too long.

19 AFC Bournemouth - Darren Anderton

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Darren Anderton's career earned him the nickname of 'sick note,' if that doesn't tell you why he wasn't exactly fitting to be a club captain then I don't know what will because Anderton struggled throughout his whole career to hold down a regular position.

However, during a 'pay per appearance' season with Bournemouth, another reason not to make him captain, by the way, Anderton did manage to stay fit, though Cherries fans probably wish he didn't.

Bournemouth probably didn't expect to be paying him as much as they did, but his poor performances couldn't help save the team from relegation into League Two, with the skipper retiring the following season without helping them get back up.

18 Brighton & Hove Albion - Adam Virgo

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Sometimes it feels like club just gives whoever the central defender at the time is the armband in the hope that they will be well suited to the role, even if that isn't the case and that really is what went down with Adam Virgo.

Known for his historic goal that took Brighton's 2004 Division Two Play-Off Final to penalties other than that there aren't many people who will remember Virgo for his contributions to the club.

Spending five years at Brighton, Virgo only chalked up just over 70 appearances, spending one year of his time out on loan, yet managed to become the club captain for a period of time.

17 Burnley - Robbie Blake

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This entry is specifically talking about his second run with the club when he was brought back to add some much-needed experience into the team, which is exactly what he did, although he was nowhere near the player that he was before.

Occasionally Blake was given the captain's armband, although it seemed more like a token gesture than anything else, which is not what the captaincy should be about.

He was a shadow of his former self at this point, in poor fitness and only really had his experience to rely upon.

However, when you are a young player hoping to be inspired, that isn't exactly what you want to see pushing you on, and unfortunately, Blake just wasn't a great fit for the role at that stage in his career.

16 Cardiff City - Craig Bellamy

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It made sense on paper to put Craig Bellamy as captain for a season once Mark Hudson was injured, a proud Welshman and someone with tons of experience at a much higher level, Bellamy seemed a perfect fit.

The issue with the winger being given the armband was all the issues that he has had in the past, from his shocking behavior on the pitch to the way he conducted himself off of it, Bellamy was an incredibly controversial figure during his career.

You either loved him or you hated him, which made it an issue when it came to earning everyone's respect, including his own teammates. Some Cardiff fans may look at Bellamy as a brilliant leader, others will not, it really depends where you sit on that argument.

15 Chelsea FC - John Obi Mikel

Chelsea FC has done a fine job with its captain's over the years and was incredibly lucky during a long stretch to have arguably the greatest Premier League captain in history with John Terry, whilst have a quality vice in Frank Lampard for any games JT missed.

However, there was a rare occasion when neither man was available and on a couple of those times, the club opted for a defensive midfielder, John Obi Mikel to be the man who would lead out the Blues, which was a very strange decision.

Whilst he does now captain his national side, at that time, Mikel wasn't a player who always had a guaranteed starting spot in the team, which made it a baffling decision as to why he had the armband as he never seemed like the loudest voice on the pitch either.

14 Crystal Palace - Jason Puncheon

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Whilst nobody is perfect, Crystal Palace's Jason Puncheon certainly is not and doesn't quite represent what the club would ideally like from its captain, finding himself in trouble off the pitch.

When you think of great captains, they tend not to be involved in too many off-field incidents.

However, that is what Puncheon did, and it likely didn't surprise many Palace fans as his attitude on the pitch has always been very feisty. Not one of the squad's strongest players, Puncheon found himself in and out of the team during his time as regular captain and he just didn't really fit the bill.

13 Everton - Gareth Barry

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Gareth Barry was a very underrated player during his career and playing in the heart of the midfield he was in the perfect position to captain any team and at Everton, he did just that, but that doesn't mean he was a perfect fit.

In fact, Barry was really the opposite of that with his disciplinary record being shocking, failing to lead the light for his team in how to behave on the field, whether that be through bad tackles or a temper.

Currently, Barry has the record for the worst discipline in Premier League history in terms of yellow and red cards, which should tell you just how bad the situation was when it came to the midfielder.

12 Fulham - Scott Parker

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Scott Parker joined Fulham late on in his career, with the London club being the final team that the midfielder played for prior to retirement and he spent several years with the Cottagers.

Parker was a frequent performer for the club and was made the temporary captain towards the end of his first season, but this proved to be a major responsibility with the club in a relegation battle, but Parker failed to lead his team to survival.

He did stick with Fulham once they were relegated, but the captaincy was taken from him by that point. Parker was nowhere near the best player in the team which made it hard for him to lead as well as he might have hoped, and the fact he was never made a full-time captain made perfect sense.

11 Huddersfield Town - Mark Hudson

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If you were to do a list of every Premier League sides best ever captains, Mark Hudson might rank quite highly on Cardiff City's as he played a crucial role during that club's history, leading the team.

He was brought to Huddersfield Town to do exactly the same thing and whilst he did lead well, his performances totally dipped.

The Terriers were almost relegated from the Championship during his time as captain, a moment nobody in the club will want to remember.

Whilst Hudson was technically the captain the season Town got promoted to the Premier League, he barely featured as his performances had become so poor, and the following season he retired from soccer.

10 Leicester City - Stephen Clemence

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Stephen Clemence was the man with the armband during one of Leicester City's worst ever seasons as the Foxes saw themselves relegated not from the Premier League but from the Championship, falling down to League One.

Clemence had a difficult time at the club, only joining in the first place over money, and then admitting there were issues with the management early on into his captaincy, something that a leader should really have kept private.

With Clemence not really being a captain off the field, on the pitch he was struggling as well with injuries causing him major issues during his time at the club, ultimately proving to be enough to force him into early retirement.

9 Liverpool - Simon Mignolet

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Simon Mignolet's Liverpool career has certainly been a roller coaster of a journey, with many fans originally being excited about his potential, but quickly becoming frustrated with his poor mistakes.

Despite the fact that he made several costly mistakes, the club stuck loyally with Mignolet for a lengthy period of time, keeping him as the number one goalkeeper and eventually giving him a small run as captain.

The issue here was that it didn't make any sense for him to become the captain because his performances were never up to scratch or worthy enough of being the skipper and he certainly didn't fit the mold of the legends who had that responsibility before him.

8 Manchester City - Carlos Tevez

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Carlos Tevez was a deadly striker who scored some incredible goals all over the world, including for Manchester City with the Premier League side growing into one of the most dominant teams in England.

While Tevez's performances on the pitch were always impressive and worthy of being the club captain as he would constantly find the back of the net, but his behavior and attitude were not exactly what you would consider worthy of the captaincy.

Often causing issues against defenders and with referees, he didn't exactly scream respect on the pitch.

In the end, Tevez refused to play for the club forcing Man City to sell him, proving exactly why he wasn't a good fit for the armband.

7 Manchester United - Wayne Rooney

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This might seem like a controversial pick, after all, Wayne Rooney is a club legend and arguably one of the greatest players to ever play for Manchester United, so why doesn't he fit as the club captain?

Firstly, there is the issue with his behavior. Whilst he had matured by the time he was given the honor, in his past Rooney was certainly a problem player who had a terrible attitude that many would consider unfitting of the captain's armband.

However, the biggest reason he didn't work out as captain is due to the timing of it. Jose Mourinho gave him the responsibility towards the end of his time with the Red Devils and Rooney was no longer the same player. Spending a lot of his time on the bench, it was tough for him to lead the team properly and in the end, it just didn't work out.

6 Newcastle United - Michael Owen

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Michael Owen had a legendary soccer career and was one of the Premier League and England's greatest ever goalscorers with his goal poaching style causing problems for even the very best teams.

Whilst he was a hero at Liverpool, when he signed for Newcastle United he was anything but that, with many fans not welcoming him to the club, Owen looked like he wanted to be anywhere but there when the club struggled and eventually got relegated to the Championship.

Owen proved his lack of loyalty as a captain when Newcastle was relegated and he made the decision to jump ship, leaving the club instead of helping to inspire a return to the Premier League, taking a jab at Newcastle during his advertising brochure to other clubs.

5 Southampton - Nigel Quashie

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Nigel Quashie was a very experienced midfielder, especially when it came to relegation battles, spending a lot of his career with teams who would find themselves fighting for survival in the Premier League.

One of those teams was Southampton and the decision was that he should be made captain in order to use his experience to try help the Saints stay afloat, it makes sense in theory, but in practice, not so much.

The issue was he had no experience in surviving.

He had been part of two relegation battles prior to that one, and was relegated every time, just as he was with Southampton and then again after that with West Brom.

4 Tottenham Hotspur - William Gallas

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When Tottenham Hostpur made the decision to make defender, William Gallas the captain of the club it was always going to be a controversial decision. Whilst he was a talented soccer player, he wasn't the most popular amongst fans at the club.

It made sense really since Gallas spent the majority of his career playing for two of the club's biggest ever rivals in Arsenal and Chelsea, becoming the first player to ever play for all three teams.

Fans weren't exactly the warmest to him and putting the armband on and allowing him to be the big representation for the team wasn't the smartest decision, which wasn't helped when age caught up with him and he began falling out of the team.

3 Watford - Gavin Mahon

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The defensive midfielder started his career at Watford's developmental system and eventually worked his way up the ladder to becoming a first team regular for the Hornets in the Premier League.

He was eventually made captain but managed to lead the team to two very different seasons. Firstly helping the team get a promotion, and then seeing his side be relegated back into the Championship.

Mahon seemingly didn't have much interest in sticking about either as he left Watford following the side's relegation, despite being the captain, in order to try and stick around at the highest level possible.

2 West Ham United - Joe Cole

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Whilst he was a very talented player during the peak of his career, Joe Cole never really sprang out to anybody as a leader and someone who needed to be the captain of a soccer club, but especially not at the point when West Ham United decided to give him the responsibility.

Joe Cole was a product of West Ham's youth system, so rewarding a young prospect with the captain's band in the hope he would stay made sense. The only problem was he was captain for half a season and in the summer he was gone, joining local rivals Chelsea.

Cole was only 21 years old when he was made the captain of West Ham and whilst he might have had the skill on the pitch, he certainly did not have the experience or maturity to make him a captain at that point.

1 Wolverhampton Wanderers - Karl Henry

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Much like Gareth Barry earlier in the list, Karl Henry is someone who wasn't an ideal fit for being a captain for a team because the chances are he would spend more time suspended than he would be playing.

Henry was known for being a hard tackler, which is something every team needs, but is best done in the style of an N'Golo Kante and not a Lee Cattermole and for Henry he fell into the latter category.

On top of that Henry wasn't a gifted player, relying on his tackling and attitude to get him through but for Wolves that is what they wanted at that time, even if it wasn't the perfect fit.

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