Revisiting Premier League fans’ 2011 predictions of their next captains

Quick Reads

In 2011, Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Newcastle United fans all had a go at predicting their next captain.

We recently discovered a thread of Reddit asking fans to suggest who should be the next captain of their club.

Some of the answers were so good that we couldn’t resist picking out some of the highlights.


By 2011 Arsenal were six years into their baron run without a trophy, and would have to wait another three before getting their hands back on the FA Cup.

As stalwarts – for want of a better word – of that period Alex Song, Gael Clichy both received nominations to become the Gunners’ next captain.

Clichy left for Manchester City that summer, while Song only lasted a further year.


You can seen the logic behind the choice of Michael Essien. John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba were all expected to move on at similar times (Florent Malouda weirdly got included in this group), which was expected to leave Essien and Petr Cech left as the senior heads.

In the end, injury scuppered the midfielder’s chances of becoming Chelsea skipper, but he deserves his place as a revered player during Blues’ most successful period.

READ: Michael Essien, Chelsea’s selfless hero, and the folly of utility men


The career of Jack Rodwell is getting increasingly difficult to explain. One Everton fan back Rodwell to become the next skipper “if we can hang onto him”.

As it transpired, the Toffees couldn’t hang on to the England international as Manchester City swooped in, but it just so happens to be the exact opposite of the problem Sunderland currently face.


Having to consider a future without Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher was no doubt difficult for Liverpool fans in 2011, which perhaps means they weren’t thinking straight when there were separate suggestions for Jonjo Shelvey and Jay Spearing.

Manchester City

The less said about the prediction of Adam Johnson the better.

Manchester United

United fans were looking for a safe pair of hands for their next captain – a cool, sensible head.

He may not have been able to truly establish himself at Old Trafford, but Jonny Evans was a decent shout, especially since he has gone on to captain West Brom.

Let’s just not mention anything about a taxi.

Newcastle United

Newcastle were enjoying their first season back in the Premier League and had yet to sack Chris Hughton at the time.

Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton, Shola Ameobi, Alan Smith and Fabricio Coloccini all captained the side that season, and fans were hopeful of seeing a local lad in Steven Taylor or Andy Carroll take over in the future.

To their credit, Taylor did indeed make a few appearances as captain.

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