Tottenham as a club goes into the 2012/13 season with many uncertainties. We still don't have a first team striker other than Jermain Defoe. We still don't know if and when Modric is leaving us, or how we intend to replace him. We still haven't signed Jan Vertonghen, though that appears to be imminent. We don't know how much Andre Villas-Boas has learned from his experiences at Chelsea. However, one of the lesser spoken of, but perhaps equally important uncertainties is who will be our captain this season.
Ledley King is at best in his last season with the club as a player, and even if he does play this season, he probably won't start very many games. It's very likely that he will be retiring this season, and the club will give him a coaching or ambassadorial role. This would leave the captaincy vacant for the new season, and there aren't that many candidates to take over for the legend that is Ledley King. Let's take a look at them after the jump.Scott Parker is seemingly the standout candidate. He gives his all in every game and exudes "English bravery", grit and determination. The one thing working against him is that he's not a very good footballer. He's a great player, and a spectacular defensive midfielder, but his technical ability is severely lacking. He's not a very good passer of the ball, and his ballerina turns slow down our flow unnecessarily. Maybe AVB can coach this out of him, but I don't think he's going to change at this stage of his career. Sandro suits our style much better, and is probably a better destroyer anyway. This is probably why he won't be a starting eleven player for the majority of our games. Also working against him is his age. He's 32 this fall and given how much he puts in to every game, he probably doesn't have more than another season or two at most left in him. Not exactly an appointment for the long term.
Michael Dawson bleeds blue and white. He is our vice captain for a good reason. He puts his body on the line for this club in every game. He's a brilliant last ditch defender, and was probably the best defender period in the Premier League in the 2009/10 season. The problem is, much like Parker he probably won't be first choice. As much as I love Dawson, he is slow. If AVB continues with his high line, Dawson will have to become a bit player at most. Add to that bad injuries in his last two seasons, and I can't see him being our captain this season.
Sandro is perhaps too young for the responsibility of being a club captain. However, he was captain of the Brazil U20 team before coming to Tottenham. He has a calm head on his shoulders, and he works incredibly hard during games (so much so that he threw up against Blackburn at home this past season). He will probably start more games than Parker this season, and that could work in his favor. I don't see this as being his year, but he definitely could be our midfield general in the near future.
William Gallas will be a bit player at best this season, and I for one don't really want a former Arsenal player as our club captain. He's captained us in games before, most notably the 3-2 victory against his former club at the Emirates, but there's a difference between captaining for a game and being a club captain.
Kyle Walker is young and only has one and a half years of Premier League experience. This will only be his second season in the Spurs first team. Also, he seems a tad irresponsible for the armband. Last season he all too often dove into challenges needlessly. He doesn't seem like the kind of player to inspire others around him like a Ledley King.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto is a carefree individual and footballer. He was almost ever-present for the team last year, and he is coolness personified. However, his mercenary nature, evidenced by his repeated admissions that he plays football only for the money, doesn't exactly give confidence in his ability as a leader.
Younes Kaboul was easily our best defender last season. He's incredibly determined and driven to win every game. He will probably be the most prominent defender under AVB due to his athleticism. He became a full French international last year, and would have probably been a starter for France at the Euros had he not been injured in the last game of the season against Fulham. The only reservation is his tendency to have mental lapses when not playing alongside an experienced defender. However, we very rarely saw him playing with someone other than Ledley King or William Gallas last season, so we don't know if he can perform as well when not playing next to one of them. Also, I'm not sure how vocal he would be as a captain.
Lastly is Brad Friedel. The 41 year old American was an ever present in the Premier League last season. He is the model of consistency and organized the defence well last year. His only drawback is his age. This is almost certainly his last season in the Premier League, and he might be forced into retirement sooner rather than later. Also, given AVB's preference for a "Sweeper 'Keeper" we could very well see him replaced this transfer window.
So there are my evaluations of the candidates for the club captaincy next season. This could be a completely pointless exercise, because Ledley could very well come back this season, but I think it's looking less and less likely. Anyone I left out? Please discuss your picks in the comments below.