Whatever the reasons, diplomatic Lambert has made the right decision
It only took three games, but the man many viewed as captain material upon his signing, has now been handled the captains armband. Ron Vlaar just screams skipper, and Paul Lambert has made the right call in installing the Dutch colossus as our captain, presumably for a while to come.
He has been extremely diplomatic in what he’s had to say regarding the matter, and here are the widely available quotes:
“I just wanted to give Darren a break, I just wanted him to concentrate on scoring goals. I think Darren at Newcastle the other week and against Swansea was excellent.
“He is playing well, but I thought I would change it and let him just concentrate on scoring goals.”
“Vlaar was amazing, I thought he was colossal.
“He’s not a young kid, he’s not 21, he has been at a huge football club himself and is a top player.”
I think he has got the whole matter spot on, has limited any possible disruption and made our most imposing player captain. Sounds good to me. Now we don’t know how Bent feels about the whole matter, because it did seem like he really wanted to be captain of our great club, but Lambert is right, his main priority has to be scoring goals.
He arguably had his best performance of the young season against Swansea, and if we can get Bent back amongst the goals, we’ll be laughing. I thought it was the right decision naming Bent as skipper in pre-season and for the first few matches, and I think it’s the right decision handing it to Vlaar now.
We’ve got a young team now, and all the clichés should apply about leading with or without the armband, and I think Bent as a senior player will help in that aspect. In such a young team and in defence in particular, Vlaar as captain can work perfectly. Many are of the feeling that strikers generally shouldn’t be named captain, due to not being involved as much as others, and I’m inclined to agree with that. Vlaar is a beast, already a fan favourite and is exactly the type of character we’ve been missing for a while.
As Lambert mentions Vlaar is no mug, has been at a number of top clubs previously and above all is the right man for the job. I think the manager has handled this matter extremely well, and I think this will allow both Vlaar and Bent to have more of an impact.
Well played gaffer!