England's midfield maestro, Steven Gerrard, has today been named captain of...
England's midfield maestro, Steven Gerrard, has today been named captain of Liverpool....
It's a wonderful boost for the player, coming so soon after his scintillating performance for the Three Lions out in Istanbul.
Gerarrd's ever-maturing game continues to impress and his manager at Liverpool, Gerard Houllier is clearly one of his biggest fans.
"I have thought long and hard about this," said Houllier.
"Firstly, I think Stevie has certain leadership qualities which I spotted very early in his career.
"When he was young, all he needed was time to mature. Now he is 23 and he is ready. There has been a maturing in his game and his personality."
The decsion will also go down well with Sven, who knows how importnat it is to have strong characters in any team.
David Beckham has led England with distinction since being handed the honour by Peter Taylor, while Michael Owen has stood in with aplomb whenever the Real Madrid man has been missing. And there is now a real raft of leaders playing alongside the captain and vice-captain.
Sol Campbell showed again on Saturday that he can set the tone for the whole team and the big defender was captain at Tottenham for many years. His partner against Turkey, John Terry, also looks to be a natural captain. He has worn the armband for Chelsea and the England Under-21 side and makes no secret whatsoever of his ambition to one day captain the Senior England side.
Meanwhile, coming up through the ranks there is also Aston Villa skipper and joint Under-21 cap holder, Gareth Barry, plus Jermaine Jenas who commands instant respect and has captained England at both Under-19 and Under-21 levels.
You often hear coaches praising their team, commenting: 'We had eleven captains out there.'
That's starting to look a genuine possibility for England now.