The role of a club captain is to lead the team. He motivates the rest of the players, and does the job of the coach on the field of play, and when he has to, he sacrifices for the greater good.
At Chelsea, we have a tradition of picking only the worthy for the captaincy role. From Dennis wise to Marcel Desailly, to John Terry, and Gary Cahill, they all lived up to the position, and showed what it truly means to play for a club like Chelsea.
John Terry was at Chelsea, and is a perfect example of team leadership. He performed his duties expertly, and retired at the appropriate moment. Gary Cahill stepped into his shoes, and has equally impressed, even though he hasn’t particularly been ‘a Terry’. But like the man before him, Gary is edging towards the latter stages of his career, and it’s difficult to not see him take a more relaxed role in the coming months. At 32 going to 33, Gary isn’t as great as he was 4 years ago. That has meant he featured less for us, and barring any miraculous upturn in form, things can only keep spiralling from here. He played a bit-part role at Stamford Bridge last season under Antonio Conte, so it doesn’t seem like he’ll return to the starting lineup at Chelsea. What this means is that we’ll be looking for a replacement in the captaincy department in the coming weeks.
As things stand, Cesar Azpilicueta is the next in line for the role, but then, it could well still be given to another candidate should we make the much-anticipated managerial change. Eden Hazard is currently the only other candidate that many would consider eligible for captaincy at Chelsea considering he’s the chief of his national team, Belgium, even though I personal would rather it goes to Spain’s Azpilicueta.
I love Eden, and his contribution to Chelsea over the years, and he’s been an excellent captain for Belgium, but I think there may be differences in leadership at both levels. Azpilicueta, being the present assistant to Cahill, for me, is more suited to take over because of his more inherent leadership qualities. Age also plays in his favor – and at 28, he would most likely command more respect than Hazard in the Chelsea dressing room.
This is of course, only a thought in my head, and I could well be wrong about a few things. Either ways, whatever happens would depend on whether or not we make a managerial switch in the coming weeks. And even then, it is also a possibility that the status quo would be respected.