Five best captains in the Premier League era
A captain’s role in the beautiful game is often underrated. Although captaincy might not be as important in football as it is in a sport like cricket, the fact remains that often, the person who wears the captain’s armband, is the deciding factor between a loss and a victory.
The Premier League era has seen some brilliant players take the leader’s role, from the likes of Eric Cantona to Sami Hyypia, all leading their team in the face of adversity and towards glory.
Here, we look at five of the best captains in the Premier League era, and see where some of the all-time greats of English football rank on this elite list.
#5 Patrick Vieira, Arsenal
Following the retirement of the legendary Tony Adams, Vieira took up the role of being the Gunners’ new captain, six years after he joined the club.
Manager Arsene Wenger had full faith in Vieira's ability to lead a team and the midfielder did not disappoint. As a captain, the former French international led his club to two FA Cup victories, and two Community Shields.
More importantly, though, he was the leader of the famous Arsenal ‘Invincibles’ who went a full league season unbeaten and won the only Golden Premier League trophy to date. Vieira played 29 games that incredible season and scored three goals as his team achieved the impossible.
Although Arsenal had several leaders on the pitch in the form of Thierry Henry and the tough Sol Campbell (amongst a few others), Vieira’s influence in the middle of the pitch was immense and his presence as a no-nonsense physical midfielder meant that his squad looked up to him and more often than not, he delivered.
One of the best midfielders AND players in the Premier League era, Vieira’s inclusion on this list is unquestionable.