Okay. Fabio Capello has dropped some clangers. No doubt about that. This time he's brought in Stewart Downing - presumably to remind Adam Johnson of what he could've been if life had been less kind. And picking Shaun Wright-Phillips AGAIN will have every Clanger on their planet - and the Soup Dragon - and the Iron Chicken - laughing their little woollen togs off.
Some Clangers search vainly for a football after it was crossed by Shaun Wright-Phillips
But this captaincy business. I confess I've tried to get with the Italian's line of thinking. There should be 11 skippers on the park. It hasn't worked. The Germans did us up like 11 kippers. So why does it matter?
Well, I think it's mattered to me since the forgettably-named quicksilver carrot-top Andy Smudger Smith got the school captainct aged 9 when clearly I was the better candidate. People were scared of me. A knowledge of fags, French kissing and intercourse put me way above the ginger lad.
Smudger bathed in the worshipful glow that blazed down on him every time he passed thiry keepy-uppies, but was it him nicking the football cards from Oundsworth's?
Oh Smudger could tie up a defender in knots so complex even Akela hadn't seen 'em before, but was it him found the discarded porn mag in the truckers lay-by?
Nah. I had respect of a more solid kind. I had a gob on me n all. I was socks-round-me-ankles, mud-from-tip-to-toe, he was a prancing Persil ad, all bigheadedness and bluey-whiteness.
And our the teacher made him skipper. You wanted your role-model to be Captain Fantastic and what we got was Lieutenant Pigeon.
In England, you grow up with the belief that one day, if you work hard, if you're gritty, honest and never-say-die, if you are the still, certain pulsing heartbeat of the men with whom you play, then you, sunshine, shall wear the armband.
And not only the heart. The bloody guts n all.
That's how it is. It's not an award that gets passed around like toffees at a dentists convention. Not for us.
You only have to look at John Terry's reaction to being relieved of the honour. (That sounds like a sordid euphemism, but it always does if 'John Terry' is in the sentence.) He played like a carthorse and whined like a girl. And he's out the squad again cos of a bad back. Who was it this time, JT?
You could also look at Gerrard's marked improvement. Admittedly, this has summat to do with not having to shar his football boots with Frank Lampard (while they're both on the pitch) but Stevie has proved time and time again that the added responsibility suits him.
I reckon the lad can be a right whiny pain-in-the-backside but give him his best position and a stretchy little ribbon round his skinny Scouse arm and he can do the business for you.
Of course he should stay skipper. Rio's got the job back cos Capello has this inflexible approach to everything. The man must be a nightmare to be married to. I can see him being like Richard Briers in Ever Decreasing Circles, folding napkins in particular ways and writing out his team-sheet with a ruler to underline everyone's name.
Thank Christ he's not a referee. He'd be getting the tape measure out every time a wall is formed wouldn't he? You'd have penalties retaken so many times that even Graham Alexander could miss one.
And you know, if Fabio really doesn't think it means owt, he could try asking his players. Or that vein-bulging slab of Full English, his assistant Stuart Psycho Pearce. (Although the Psycho reputation has been utterly undermined by the fact that Capello has reduced his bench-buddy to the role of hapless stooge and punchbag. A sort of Phil Neal with bruises.)
There's the language barrier but I'm sure if he gets Stuart to speak slowly he'll come up with summat resembling English.
And if he does he'll hear the word 'honour' mentioned over and over again. And even the pampered millionaires that so frequently distribute so much silage across our international playing-fields do actually mean it when they say it.
And not only does it matter from a sentimental point-of-view. To someone of my vintage it means you can be mentioned in the same breath as Bobby Moore. The greatest English centre-half there ever was, by the way, if any wet-behind-the-ears whipper-snappers are reading.
It matters from a pure ego point of view. You're the captain. The team wins summat. Yes, it's about everybody. Not just about me... blah blah... Great bunch of lads... blah blah... really pulled together... blah blah... the gaffer's been amazing blah blah...
...but when it comes down to it the lad wearing the armband is the lad that steps up to the front, leads his mates forward, shakes the parasitic hands of all the no-mark dignitaries and disinterested blue-bloods, and clasps his big hairy mitts around the glorious glowing goblet of gold and holds it aloft while your mates and fans roar you into paradise!
And any man that doesn't want that job isn't fit to wear the shirt.
And I mean you Smudger, wherever you are. Cos we won fuck-all with you at the helm.
In the meantime England's squad members have been making more withdrawals than a queue of savings account holders outside a branch of Anglo-Irish.
I'm reckoning Capello will have to go with:
Hart; G. Johnson (And please if there is a God can you find someone in the country who is a better right-back and isn't called Neville), Lescott, Ferdinand, A.Cole; Young, Barry (cue ponderous comedy music played on the tuba), Gerrard, A.Johnson; Rooney, Crouch.
Or Kevin Davies.
Honest lad, Kev. Dirty. And honest. But Kevin Davies. Truly, the cupboard is bare.