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Palmer: Sanchez good, Giroud bad

Premier League
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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Capello gives Gerrard England captaincy

England coach Fabio Capello revealed he appointed Steven Gerrard for his first match in charge because of his inspirational qualities.

Gerrard will lead the side out for the friendly international with Switzerland at Wembley tomorrow evening.

The Liverpool midfielder had been skipper in the absence of the injured John Terry for England's defeats against Russia and Croatia, which resulted in them being eliminated from Euro 2008.

And he has been given the nod by Capello to wear the armband against the Swiss while Terry continues to recover from a foot injury.

Capello again stressed he will not name his permanent captain until England's opening World Cup qualifier with Andorra in September.

But he feels Gerrard is the best option at his disposal in the short term amid speculation Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was also in contention.

'I won't be picking a permanent captain for the time being but at the moment I think Steven Gerrard is important for everyone because he is a player who can motivate other players and transmit ideas,' said Capello.

'I have made it clear already that I am not going to name a permanent captain until the Andorra match at the start of the World Cup qualifiers.'

Capello had informed the rest of his squad of his decision to appoint Gerrard before facing the massed ranks of the media at Arsenal's training ground at London Colney.

And the former Real Madrid manager will keep his players guessing as to his starting line-up against the Swiss until they leave the team hotel to travel to Wembley.

Capello said: 'I told the players just before I told you (the media) that Gerrard is captain against Switzerland because I thought it was only fair that they knew.

'It is also my intention to inform players of the team for games at the hotel before we leave for matches.'

Gerrard has spoken of his pride of being Capello's first captain he is reluctant to put his name forward as a possible permanent successor to Terry, who has been given no assurances he will wear the armband once fit.

He said: 'I don't want to put my name forward to get the captaincy because I think that would be disrespectful to John Terry who is still our leader at the moment.

'Obviously he will not be available for Wednesday's game because of his injury and it will be a nice and proud feeling to lead out Fabio's first team at Wembley. It is a great honour.'

Gerrard had been the main candidate along with Terry to become England captain when David Beckham resigned from the role in Germany in the aftermath of England's elimination from the 2006 World Cup at the quarter-final stage.

The then new coach Steve McClaren opted to give the armband to Terry and left Beckham out of his plans altogether for more than a year.

But there have been reports claiming certain members of the Football Association have been unhappy with the example set by Chelsea skipper Terry when remonstrating with referees over decisions.

Gerrard seldom gets involved in such controversy but it remains to be seen whether Capello is convinced he is the long-term successor to Terry.