How the nature of English captaincy has changed - and in contrast to events in the outside world

It seems like an appropriate week to discuss the nature of leadership. Because as well as the pivotal and horrifying changes in the nature of political command hammered home by recent events – of which more on shortly – there's also a quieter and altogether less horrifying change occurring in English football around the same theme.

It’s a faintly remarkable fact that four of the Premier League’s 'big six' clubs currently have captains who can’t get in the team. Wayne Rooney at Manchester United, Vincent Kompany at Manchester City and John Terry at Chelsea have all been dropped from their manager’s first XI in no uncertain terms. At Arsenal, Per Mertesacker’s knee injury has seen Shkodran Mustafi come into the team and excel, meaning Mertesacker can expect a place on the bench when he’s fit again.

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