The role of the team captain at Manchester United: Leadership and influence on the team

England has always been famous for its football and fan “cheering”, and the local population, especially its male part, practically deified their own football teams. Other sports, such as rugby, tennis, etc., are similarly popular with the people.

The British themselves are very gambling, so their reverent attitude to betting shops and all sorts of virtual gaming resources is quite logical and easily explainable. So a significant number of customers in seven casino should not cause anyone the slightest surprise.

This sport requires from the players increased stamina and team cohesion, as they in modern Premier League clubs have to spend at least 60 matches per season. Especially difficult is the playing period on the eve of Christmas holidays and New Year, when teams have to play 5-7 important matches in a fortnight. People who have first-hand experience with increased physical loads understand how difficult it is for young organisms. The main load in such periods falls on the leaders of the team. Namely, on the captain and his assistants.

The task of the captain of the team

The captain of the football team is a real leader of the whole team, enjoying the respect of the players, both on the pitch and off it. The captain is usually chosen by a vote of all team members. There is also a variant, when the captain’s candidature is proposed by the head coach of the team, and the players themselves subsequently consider it.

The main tasks of the captain include helping the coach, team building, as well as supporting its morale both during successes and in situations when the team is in a slump. Usually this is a person who has unwavering authority and is respected by all the players of the team without exception. It is not for nothing that in the European Football Championships taking place in Germany today, it was the team captains who got to talk to the referees on the pitch, without any consequences for themselves.

Manchester United and their first widely recognised captains

In the English Premier League there are many legendary teams that have repeatedly won both the English championship itself and various Eurocups. One of them is Manchester United, which has gone through several time eras with championships and cups.

Manchester United is one of the oldest football clubs in the UK, having originated back in 1878. During the first few decades of its existence, the club did not stand out too much, being one of many more or less equal teams in the English championship. During the first 60 years, the team managed to win the English championship twice, as well as winning several national cups, which put the team in line with many other British teams in the first division.

But even at this time in the team there was a captain, whose name became a real legend, which even today is remembered by loyal fans of the Mancunians.

This is Charlie Roberts, who was the captain in two championship seasons of the team. He captained the club for 6 years and led Manchester to championship victories in 1907/08 and 1010/11, as well as being involved in winning the Cup and Super Cup. Enjoyed unquestioned authority and was a favourite with the whole team.

Then there were several more relatively unsuccessful years at the club until a coach by the name of Matt Busby arrived

The Busby era

He spent 23 years on the coaching bridge and won five English championships, as well as the major Champions Cup, which was at that time the ancestor of the famous Champions League, in 1968.

Many captains were changed during this time, but the most iconic during this period were John James Carey, Roger Byrne, Denis Law and the great Bobby Charlton.

John Carey

Captained Manchester United for 8 years, from 1945 to 1953. The Dublin-born defender, who played 344 games for the first team, started playing for the club before the Second World War. In many ways, it was his reliable play, tough character and unyielding authority that helped them win the championship and take the domestic cup.

Roger Byrne

Was the captain of the legendary Busby Boys team. He played as a left-back from 1951. Together with the team won three championship titles and successfully played for the national team. His career and authority was at such a high level that the leadership of the main team of Great Britain planned to appoint him captain at the World Cup in 1958. Roger was 28 years old and his football career was at its peak. But fate ordered otherwise.

On 6 February 1958 at Munich airport, the plane, which was almost the entire Manchester United squad with coaches and support staff, crashed after the third attempt to take off. Twenty-three people died, including Roger Byrne. His twenty-ninth birthday was only a few days away.

Understandably, after such a tragedy, which resulted in the death of most of the team, it was incredibly difficult for Manchester United to claim the league title in the following seasons. But Matt Busby, who survived the plane crash and returned as head coach in the aftermath managed to create a new team and lead it to new achievements.

Denis Law

Captain of the team that, after the Munich tragedy, managed to take two English national championships twice under the same Busby. Unyielding and incredibly resilient Scotsman, acquired by the club from Italian Torino, managed to rally around him a new team. Becoming the leader of the defence of the Mancunians, he was so good that he managed to win the prize of the best European footballer in 1964. It was he who, together with the team, won the European Cup in 1968. The greatness of the captain is evidenced by the fact that he has a personal monument at his home ground of Old Trafford.

Bobby Charlton

Another famous footballer who survived a monstrous plane crash and became captain not only at his home club, but also of the national team. By the way, under his captaincy, the English were able to win the World Cup for the only time in history. This happened in 1966, when the tournament was held in the birthplace of football.

Captains of the Alex Ferguson era

Then came a time when the success of the team left much to be desired for almost twenty years. This happened until the club’s management decided to turn to the services of the then unknown to most fans Alex Ferguson, who turned Manchester United into the real flagship of European football. He coached the team for 27 years and managed to win an unimaginable number of titles of all kinds.

Roy Keane

This Irish footballer, whose name is forever inscribed in the history of European football is almost universally recognised as the best captain for all 150 years of the club’s existence. His unyielding character and unyielding will turned him into the real heart and soul of the club. Roy Keane spent 13 years at the club and managed to win 18 trophies, making him the club’s most decorated captain.

Gary Neville

Another pupil of the club who captained the team for 5 years. This took place from 2995 to 2019. In the history of the club, he became the first Manchester native since Roger Byrne to be awarded the honourable and such an important title as team captain.

Wayne Rooney

A footballer who became the captain of the Mancunians while playing as a striker. I would like to say: and what a striker. The team did not achieve much success during the time when he was the captain, but his charisma, ardour and stubbornness on the football field turned him into a real leader of the team.

Current Manchester United captains

After Ferguson’s departure, the team found itself in a rather difficult position. For more than a decade now, it has not managed to win the national championship, settling for only rare hits in European cups. There could be several reasons for this. These include the lack of a charismatic coach, the club’s unsuccessful selection policy, and the lack of quality lmders in the squad.

Probably, there are no such personalities who could become real captains, capable of pulling the players behind them and achieving the desired success. The current captain Bruno Fernandes seems to be a great footballer, but he still lacks something to achieve full-fledged success.

The only thing left to wait for is a player who can rally a bunch of talented players around him, unite their efforts and lead Manchester United to new achievements.

More Stories Bobby Charlton Bruno Fernandes Denis Law Gary Neville John Carey Manchester United Roger Byrne Roy Keane Wayne Rooney

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