Daniel Agger's departure may not have impacted Brendan Rodgers' first-team plans too much this season, but it has left Liverpool without a vice captain and no clear eventual successor to current skipper Steven Gerrard. The Reds' boss said after the 3-0 win at White Hart Lane that he hadn't given any thought to the situation but would use the international break to assess his options before making a decision.
The truth is there really aren't too many candidates -- not ones who tick all the required boxes, anyway.
If the decision was based on experience and time at the club, Martin Skrtel would be the obvious choice. He's a first-team regular and has made almost 250 appearances for the club. He also plays at centre-back, a position that traditionalists will tell you is ideal for a captain as he can see the entire field and issue instructions as needed.
The one big drawback with the Slovakian defender is he's not at all vocal. He does his own job but isn't one for telling others how to do theirs, a big reason why Rodgers invested so heavily in Dejan Lovren. The Croatian was brought in to be the leader in the defence and has all the attributes you would want in a captain or, in this case, vice-captain. He's experienced despite being relatively young but he's only played three games for the club, which may well count against him. Would it sit well with teammates for a newcomer to be given the vice captaincy?
Adam Lallana is in the same boat. He captained Southampton and has all the necessary qualities you'd be looking for. He's a leader by example, a good professional and very mature young man. It would be almost impossible for Rodgers to make him Gerrard's vice-captain, however, given he has yet to kick a ball in anger for the Reds after being injured in preseason. Besides, no-one knows if he will even be a regular starter as we are yet to see what role Rodgers has identified for him. Lallana might be a candidate one day, but not now.
So who else does that leave? Glen Johnson is experienced and has been at the club a long time but is probably the last person most fans would want to see given the honour. Even madcap Mario Balotelli would be a more popular choice than the out-of-form (and soon to be out of contract) full-back! Lucas Leiva is another who has been around for many years and even though he's worn the armband before, his struggles to even make the match day squad these days push him out of the equation.
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