One of Neil Warnock’s first observation as manager was that Leeds United lacked leaders on the pitch. This has prompted many to conclude a change of captaincy is likely to coincide with his appointment as manager, including the Yorkshire Evening Post who have started a poll on the subject with Andy Lonergan, Danny Pugh, Tom Lees, Adam Clayton and Robert Snodgrass considered to be the contenders.

Aside from Robert Snodgrass, I’d be incredibly surprised if Neil Warnock went with any of the names on that list. Danny Pugh and Adam Clayton might be in with an outside chance, but Pugh will most likely remain a utility player, which I think will rule him out, and Adam Clayton is a little too bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to be bellowing orders at some of the lads in this team.

As for the other two, well, Neil Warnock’s statement that we “need leaders” surely rules Andy Lonergan out, whilst the only thing making Tom Lees captain-material is his inability to smile – a surly disposition on it’s own doesn’t quite cut it for me.

That leaves us looking outside the players that the YEP consider contenders, at individuals who perhaps didn’t feature too often in Simon Grayson’s side, but who immediately stand-out as a more obvious choice for the armband. I’m thinking of course, of Andy O’Brien and Michael Brown.

Both these players are vastly experienced footballers whose experience alone commands the respect of those around them. Moreover, they both have experience of being captain – Andy O’Brien (albeit briefly) at Bolton Wanderers and Michael Brown at Fulham.

They have two markedly different approaches to leadership, which may prove decisive. Andy O’Brien is your calm and composed lead-by-example kind of captain – much like Jonny Howson before him – whilst Michael Brown is your uncompromising. tough-tackling, in-your-face option, not shy of issuing orders at his fellow team-mates – as was immediately evident in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Doncaster Rovers.

It could well be the case that Neil Warnock brings in someone new, but out of the players currently at his disposal, who do you think it should be?

Who would you choose as next Leeds United captain?

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36 Responses

  1. Pudsey_Rob

    Fantastic article & your list of candidates is much better than the YEP (for valid reasons). I have a feeling it could well be Brown if Warnock can get him playing well but wouldn’t rule out O’Brien either. Both are good choices & can bring much needed leadership to the team as long as they are playing well enough to warrant a place in the starting line up.

    • jigzy84

      @Pudsey_Rob why are they much better? can you honestly say that Brown or AOB is a going to be a regular starter?

  2. Bubionwhite

    The decision should be put on ice until we see who NW manages to bring into the club … but from your list it would have to be Robert Snodgrass, who already encourages and berates his team mates for not showing passion and commitment. I’m not sure that Michael Brown or Andy O’Brien will get enough game time to justify their selection, but I’m sure we can all trust NW to make the right decision.

  3. jigzy84

    Without knowing who is coming in and who is going out, you can’t know who will be in NW mind for a regular starting place. After all a guaranteed 1st team player or as near as regular 1st team starter is paramount, with that in mind it’s a pointless discussion to have right now.

  4. lufc79

    I would like to think the gaffer will bring in a new captin,a new voice to listen too and someone the younger lads in the squad could look up to and lead by example.

    A new manager,a new captain,new formation a fresh start for all.

    • jigzy84

      @lufc79 I think you are right that the manager will be bringing a new leader my bet is that he will bring at least 2 new leaders into the squad, players can be leaders without the armband Leeds need a backbone of leaders to get promotion!

  5. TimPM

    “the only thing making Tom Lees captain-material is his inability to smile – a surly disposition on it’s own doesn’t quite cut it for me.”

    !lol A good lad, Tom Lees. But not experienced enough for captain.

    I’d put Bruce on the list too, not that I’d necessarily pick him as captain.

    Snoddy all the way for me. But I’d say who’s my pick for captain? Whoever is picked! It really does have to be down to the manager to choose a man to reflect his picks and tactics.

    • jigzy84

      @TimPM Snoddy is a leader already but do we need to burden him with the additional duties both on and of the field that is expected of a captain right now he is already a leader by example, and a team needs to be full of leaders.

      • TSS

        @jigzy84@TimPM Just written that above before spotting your comment. The burden of captain is a concern for me too. We already expect an awful lot more of Snoddy than anyone else.

      • Ron_Galea

        @TSS @jigzy84 @TimPM

        Just goes to show you how thin and inexperienced this squad is when we have only 2 regular starters that are Captain material. I think Lonergan has played very well, but we need someone closer to the action. I think Brown 5 years ago would have been ideal. I think Snoddy can handle it, as he’s handled being our sole creative force very well.

      • henrymouni

        @TSS @jigzy84 @TimPM

        It is a good point, but I expect that there will be pressure on the whole team to perform from now on.

        The basics – corners, freekicks, marking etc etc

        No more free rides under NW.

        This can only help Snoddy me thinks.

        Remember “Lucciano will win every header from now on”!!!

      • TimPM

        @jigzy84 I’ve wondered. He’s shown himself a real man with his performances but I don’t know if we’re expecting too much of him. I suppose it’s another reason why we’ve got to just trust Warnock on this decision. We don’t know the ins and uts

  6. Cypruswilly

    This is a pointless exercise.I have total faith in Neil Warnock and I am sure he will make an excellent choice without our help.No contest if we are lucky enough to see Sean Derry return.

    • TSS

      @Cypruswilly Just a talking point mate – 90% of conversation amongst fans is speculation, football would be a boring place without it.

      Also note that you couldn’t resist an opinion after deciding having an opinion was “a pointless exercise” – you see the irony, I’m sure?


      • jigzy84

        @TSS @Cypruswilly Agree that it’s pointless and also with TSS point.


    Snoddy for me to encourage him to sign a new contract. Surely captain of a resurgent Leeds is more enticing then a squad player at an average prem team.

    • jigzy84

      @EYLEEDS I’m sure that worked for Howson didn’t it (short memories people have)

      • TSS

        @jigzy84 @EYLEEDS Snoddy would be my choice, but I have this nagging feeling that it would be too much pressure to put on him if Warnock is also expecting him to up his game and fill the playmaker role.

      • jigzy84

        @TSS agree under NW I think the Snoddy will be used as playmaker and this will not give him the opportunities to get messages across like a CB, CM player. I think a team needs leaders and we don’t need to burden him with additional pressures, just let him play.

      • EYLEEDS

        @jigzy84 Perhaps it would have worked with Howson if Bates had shown some ambition and he felt we had a chance of promotion.

        My memory ain’t that short.

  8. lufc79

    Its just as well the gaffer will have all week to sort this one out before the the weekends game.

    he will get to know the lads and make his mind up.

    im sure he would have someone in mind.We just have to trust the gaffer.

  9. mattbb1

    what will this do to Lonergans motivation? you have to say that Snodgrass is showing all the attributes of a captain, and if his shoulders are big enough then give it to him. He could be a Bryan Robson type captain, inspirational, and I think he would lap it up.

  10. jimmyoneeye

    Im not sure of the importance of captain, sure it gives the player a boost and is something to be proud of and it should be someone the rest of the team can look up to, however i dont think it has to be someone who can shout and ball. If we are short on leaders on the pitch them im sure NW will go out and get some at the end of the season but they dont need to be captain to be a leader. Think Lonergan is fine.

  11. MattScott

    Surely you’re all missing the most obvious candidate.

    Our 2 most successful managers – The Don & Wilko – both had short redheaded Scotsmen as their captains.

    My vote goes to Ross McCormack!

    • TSS

      @MattScott I did consider Ross actually, I just don’t think strikers should be captains as a general rule. In this instance however, I wouldn’t be against it.

      • Tyler75

        @TSS @MattScott I think Ross is a good shout; just not sure where he’ll fit in to Warnock’s plan to play Snods in the hole behind Becchio. I voted for Brown, because I think that’s what will happen. Snods has too much on his shoulders already as the ‘go to man’ and creative inspiration of the team

  12. morleywhite

    Warnock seems to be a fan of Leigh bromby.Brombys been on alot of warnocks team sheets over the years and i wouldnt be surprised if he features much more now under warnock.After his injury of course.and who knows we may see a much improved player same goes for Micky Brown.

  13. smogwhite

    A captain should be a loudmouth who gees the players up,a motivator in the thick of the action.not sure we have a standout option at the moment,if Derry does come back i think he would be ideal.Him Clayton and Brown in the middle would give us a hard shell infront of the defence and Snoddy could play behind the front two.

  14. TimPM

    They’re talking about shipping Kilgallon out to fund O’Neill’s new signings. He’d an absolutely fantastic signing for us, but could we afford him?

  15. Himo

    Brown seems the most logical option for me, then Tom Lees in a few season’s when he’s had time to mature a bit as both a player and a man.

    • smogwhite


      clayton can pass the ball and put a foot in with brown and derry to do the dogs work.and snodgrass provides the creativity.our main problem is conceding goals,not scoring them.

  16. Bridwhite

    For one thing, I think Snodgrass deserves to be capt., and it should motivate him to perform more consistently. If he is the right man for the job he will carry the rest of the team along with him.

  17. Snowjoke

    Since Howson left (and even before that) I’ve thought that Snodgrass should be Skipper. There are four solid reasons. 1. The number one priority – his place in the starting line-up is virtually assured. 2. There’s a steeliness to him that suggests he wouldn’t be weighed down by the captaincy or flinch from the trickier responsibilities that go with it e.g. demanding performance and dishing out orders and bollockings to get it. 3. He comes across as confident and intelligent before the media and should therefore be comfortable with that aspect of the job. 4. Through the thick and thin of several rollercoaster seasons, he alone has epitomised the true, dormant “Leeds” (our no-nonsense Yorkshire grit, clenched-fist determination, etc, etc). As a result, he enjoys iconic status among fans and, in return, shows a genuine affinity for them. That all-important connection across the touchline. I do accept the argument that leadership is needed all over the pitch but there has to be a first-among-equals and, for me, of the current contenders, Snoddy is a shoo-in.


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