EXCLUSIVE: Great Scott! Pearce chooses Parker to lead England in Holland friendly
Scott Parker will captain England in the friendly against Holland at Wembley on Wednesday night.
Caretaker boss Stuart Pearce, taking charge of England for the first time since Fabio Capello resigned as manager earlier this month, has placed his faith in the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder to lead the Three Lions.
Capello quit over the Football Association's decision to remove the armband from previous captain John Terry, with the Chelsea skipper due to stand trial in July accused of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. Terry was unavailable to face the Dutch due to injury.
New team: Scott Parker (left) with England caretaker boss Stuart Pearce (right)
Parker has impressed both during recent internationals for England and in Harry Redknapp's midfield at Tottenham.
The former West Ham, Chelsea and Charlton star was named as skipper over Steven Gerrard, who had been considered favourite for the role. There has been a concern about Gerrard after he battled through 120 minutes of Carling Cup action on
Sunday, but that is not apparently shared by the Liverpool midfielder, who
wanted to start against the World Cup finalists.
Overlooked: Steven Gerrard (left) was favourite to lead England in the friendly at Wembley
Parker also beat several other senior players to the captaincy, including Manchester City trio Joe Hart, Gareth Barry and James Milner.
Last week Pearce suggested too much had been made of the England captaincy issue but he
has actually succeeded only in increasing the focus by
choosing to wait until 10 o'clock this morning to tell a squad as much
in the dark about the team he intends to pick.
In the ranks: Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart had also been tipped by some to wear the armband
The friendly with Holland could mark Pearce's one crack at the top job, but he is preparing for this summer’s
European Championship in the hope that he might yet be in charge
Players have been ordered to practise penalties with Pearce having already informed them
of certain changes he had made to his Italian predecessor’s
More to follow.
Candidate: Gareth Barry (left) was another senior player Pearce could have chosen
Centre of attention: Parker (centre) has impressed under Harry Redknapp at Tottenham