New season, new captain

After Rovers lost their skipper from last season, @callumscott1999 looks at the potential candidates for the captain’s role.

Jason Lowe
Rovers released Jason Lowe, the captain last year, so who should have the armband this season?

Since the departure of last season’s captain Jason Lowe, Rovers now need to make a decision with under 2 weeks until the new season starts, on who will become the new captain.

Becoming captain is a high privilege and is every fan’s dream to represent their club. This is why the captain position needs to go to someone who will be the leader and will put their heart on their sleeve, every time they place. He will also need to play every week because it gives the others players and also the fans a regular face who will face the media. Facing the media is very important part of the captain role. This will be prevalent especially after big losses because everyone will be high on emotions and the way you answer to the media will have implications on how the fans react at games and sometimes it can cause problems.

Last season, Jason Lowe was the captain all season, besides a few occasions when Craig Conway filled in. Lowe was a main source of the fans anger and received heavy criticism all season. It didn’t help that we subsequently got relegated but personally, I didn’t rate Lowe highly as a player or a leader and there were much better options for captain. Lowe wasn’t the most vocal on the pitch and that is arguably the most important trait that the captain needs to have. They need to dig in and be able to get the players motivated even when the fans start getting restless and getting on certain players’ backs.

This season, it is a very tough choice for the captaincy and it is between many different players who all have the necessary traits to become captain.

Charlie Mulgrew

The Scottish man is one of the Rovers’ fan favourites and has earned that with his defensive and also midfield performances from last season. He single handedly won Rovers games, including man of the match performances against Newcastle home and away. He was the leader that we didn’t have last season, because of Jason Lowe’s lack of leadership and Mulgrew seemed to command the team well. It wasn’t enough to keep Rovers up but he fought to the end and also to the wire, with his outstanding free kick against Brentford on the final day of the season. Charlie has many traits and qualities that make him suitable for captain. He has experience and has played in big games such as the Old Firm Derby and countless Champions LLeague appearances. He is vocal on the pitch and motivates his fellow team mates. He is also a fan favourite and gives his all every game. However, the only criticism is that he is injury prone and I think a captain should play every games which could become a problem later into the season.

Craig Conway

The workhorse midfielder has been at Blackburn for around 4 years and is one of only a few players in the current squad that has played over 100 games. This means he knows the club well and he also gives his all on the pitch. This is what you want from the captain because the other players lead by example and if they see the club captain working hard and giving his all every week, which will rub off on the other players. He also has experience of being the captain because he did take the armband from former midfielder Jason Lowe when he was suspended or was substituted. Lowe did feature a lot of the season so he wasn’t captain much but you could see from when he was captain Craig was defiantly comfortable and didn’t look out of place.

Darragh Lenihan

The Rovers academy graduate has really developed in the last few years and has become a regular starter under Owen Coyle and also current manager Tony Mowbray. He did start his trade as a central hard hitting midfielder but has now transferred his skills to centre back, and is now a first team player and would be first on my team sheet every single week. Lenihan is one of our own and has been at Rovers for many years so in some fans eyes he is the perfect choice because he knows what it’s like to start at the bottom and fight to get into the first team. He never leaves anything on the pitch and will never back out of a tackle and that is exactly what you need. The only question some fans have is his age and that he might be too young to take the armband. My statement to that is if he’s good enough and has the traits now, he is good enough to captain us and this could be the making of him. It will also give him more of a reason to stay with bids coming in for a number of championship clubs.

Elliott Bennett

The last player I am going to talk about is the midfielder, who runs down the wing for me. Bennett is a fans favourite who gives his all on and off the pitch. He is best known for his thunderbolts against Blackpool and recently York City. Elliott always has time for the fans and that has shown over the last year. He is also the first over to the fans even after a heavy defeat and we as fans appreciate it massively. He always has time for the fans which you could see at Morecambe when he was signing and taking pictures with the fans for many minutes after everyone had gone into the dressing room. This shows that he actually cares about the club and the supporters and this is what you want from the captain.

I also asked a few of the RoversChat writers who they wanted for captain and this is what was said.

@tomrover (Twitter: @Tom_Schoey)

Elliott Bennett- Not the obvious choice but I feel he cares about the club, is a great role model and from the outside looking in he seems to have a great relation ship with everyone.

@roverschat (Twitter: @rovers_chat)

Charlie Mulgrew- I think the captaincy has to go to Mulgrew. He’s a strong commanding defender who has the lead the team during pre-season. However if he does leave, I’d like Derrick Williams to get the captaincy after his performances last season.

@roversbrad97 (Twitter: @brfc_brad98)

Charlie Mulgrew- Mulgrew for me. Leader of men, can get anybody motivated and get their head up when the mood drops. If he stays at Rovers, he can be our player of the season as he arguably was in a very difficult season for the blues in a harder division.

@jkeybrfc (Twitter: @jkeybrfc)

Charlie Mulgrew- Mulgrew plain and simple. He just has the air of leadership about him. Also has champions league experience and numerous caps at international level. The younger lads will also look up to him and can learn from him such as the way he carries himself.

@braith23 (Twitter: @braith69)

Elliot Bennett- Mulgrew would be the stand out but, he has to prove his fitness. We need someone who is going to play week in, week out. I’m leaning towards Bennett for this. Always gives 100% leads by example and great with the supporters.

Anthony Braithwaite (Twitter: @antboyrovers)

Ryan Nyambe simply because it’s Ryan Nyambe.

Pete Charnley (Twitter: @sirpetecharnley)

Mulgrew would be my choice. Someone who is respected by players and fans alike, played at the highest level and probably our most experienced player. A great player to have in the backbone of the team’

@callumscott1999 (Twitter: @Cxllumscott)

In my opinion, I think the vacant captaincy should go to Craig Conway. He is everything that you need in a captain. He works hard every week and gives his all on the football pitch. He always has time for supporters and comes over to the away fans straight away. Craig also knows all the lads well and has been here for a few years so that is also a huge factor. Lastly he plays every week and that’s what you need from a captain.

Let us know who you want as captain! Make sure to get involved on social media by tweeting us!

We also made a poll on Twitter, about who you wanted as Rovers captain. The results are below and the tweet can be found here.

Captain poll

64% of you voted for Charlie Mulgrew to be your club captain, with Lenihan behind on 18% and then 13% voted Craig Conway. Elliott Bennett then cam last with 5%.

For more articles like this, and to participate in our polls, follow us on Twitter – @rovers_chat– to receive the new articles first!