rss twitter facebook mobile

Ferguson Explains Why He Made Vida Captain Over Fletch and Scholes

Many Manchester United fans were hoping Sir Alex Ferguson would replace Gary Neville as captain for the upcoming season, given how rarely he played due to injuries and form.

Over the summer, a few players were tried out, including Darren Fletcher, but in the end, Fergie opted for Nemanja Vidic, surprisingly looking past England captain Rio Ferdinand.

Ferguson has explained his decision after being asked why he didn’t choose to go for a leader from midfield, like Bryan Robson and Roy Keane.

“The subject of picking the captain this year was pretty straight forward,” Ferguson said. “Over the past few years Gary Neville has been club captain and team captain, but as we know, Gary’s been subjected to an incredible amount of injuries, so the inconsistency of Gary in the team made us have to look elsewhere. So when you go to pick a captain you want to pick a captain who is going to be playing every week. Defenders normally come in to that, far easier than the likes of Darren Fletcher. Because we have so many selections in midfield, from time to time we change that around. Paul Scholes doesn’t want to be captain, then you’ve got Darren Fletcher who has leadership qualities of course, but we change the midfield so many times. So therefore I chose Nemanja Vidic, who signed a new contract. He’s going to be our most consistent player. If he’s fit, he’ll always play.”

Interview with CNN International.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

View all posts by Scott »



  1. KingOfStretfordEnd says:

    Sir Alex decides,we follow. Besides we have so many options for captains, its a pleasant headache.

  2. calvo says:

    To be honest, Utd have VdS,Vidic,Rio,Evra,Giggs,Fletcher and not to mention Rooney, who are all captain material and have at some stage been captains of club or country.

  3. Costas says:

    I admit that I can’t understand this. Fletcher is so immense at the moment that he will get picked in almost every game. Just like Vidic. By the same logic, we would have never made Keane the captain. In no way am I comparing Fletch to Keano. Just saying that Fletcher is our best midfielder right now and he is always in the team sheet, just like Keane was…

  4. Zulu-Malta says:

    I for one would like to see Rooney or Evra as Captains. Both of them has quality to be Captains of the greatest institution in the world !
    Glory.Glory Man Utd !!

  5. FletchTHEMAN says:

    I feel that Sir Alex is working to craft a team. Rio is probably a continuing worry, would have been most peoples first choice if fit. He realizes that Fletch is a team man and will probably be captain one day, really nothing extra in elevating him now and may actually get more commitment. Fletch and Vida have very similar temperaments so that is not an issue. The thing that you do get is a much more composed and settled Vida.

  6. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Costas, Agree with your thoughts. But don’t think SAF saw an added benefit. I do have a question for you. How would one go back to review all games were particular players had the arm band. Does one see a notable elevation in performance when Vida has the band?

  7. Nnamdi says:

    @ costa scholes is our best midfielder and i like it that sir alex made vida the captain

  8. Costas says:


    It’s early to say if it has elevated Vida. We will know in 5-6 months. I think some players do get an added insentive when they wear the armband. Keane was a great player, but he really started hitting his peak once Fergie made him captain. At the same time, I don’t think it added anything to Rio, Cantona or Gary Nev because they were already leaders at the time they wore the armband.

    Would the armband elevate someone like Fletcher? I guess it all depends on whether he sees himself as a leader or a trooper. I’ve always campaigned for Fletch to become United captain and maybe even wear the number 7 shirt, but maybe that’s not what he wants.

  9. Costas says:


    You are right. Scholes is our best midfielder right now. I meant to say that Fletcher is our most dependable midfielder because of his box to box type of play and the fact that he is starting more games than Scholes does.

  10. FletchTHEMAN says:

    @Costas Right, we will have to wait and see. But it is interesting that Fletcher is really never called on for this role. All the other suspects, even Scholes, have worn it from time to time. Fletcher, hmm maybe a couple of times, but nothing that comes immediately to mind. That is why I wondered if there were stats on who wore the band and how the team performed. There is no way that anyone will get this type of honor without a consistent history of doing well in the role over a season or 2. Vida has that, and thus is not a surprise to me.

  11. Costas says:


    Oh, I see what you mean. In recent times, the armband hasn’t made much difference I think. The team missed Rio when he didn’t play, but that’s not because he occasionaly wore the armband. The last captain who’s absence or presence would make a huge difference to the team was Roy.

  12. Eleven says:

    Hey Pep!!

    For time Vida is perfect, One of our most consistent player along Pat, id love to see Fletcher as caption some time in the near future, cos i thinks its good for the caption to be at the heart of the team,
    we shouldn’t make Waza captain, cos we don’t want him to carry the extra burden, should let him be free and do his stuff without worrying about whos out of formation whos not marking who.

  13. ajie says:

    personally i preferred Rio as a captain…very commanding & vocal…not to say others is not good, but i think all of us can see how we lack the communication especially in defending area…captain needs a special character that can influent the team…he needs to be aggressive, commanding, very vocal, consistent performance & fitness & always play…that will make the role working nicely & make our game more easier…

    Rio – great leader but fitness problem
    Vidic – great play/performance but lack of communication
    Fletch – great performance, ok in communication & commanding but like SAF said, we change mid a lot
    Evra – WC incident
    Rooney – SAF not favor to name striker as a captain
    Scholes – perfect guy to named as captain but i don`t know…he refused?

  14. RedHeadedUnited says:

    wow…scholes refused it ?
    he is a very humble guy, seem that he just want to play freely.
    very shy to be a captain scholesey ??

  15. KING ERIC BG says:

    I’m not surprised that Scholesey refused. He has a history of refusing it, or at least not volunteering for the armbrand. He is a great guy, just doesnt preffer the lights, the noise, etc – thats all. And I respect that.

  16. crazywolfe says:

    i think naming vida as captain has another benefit as well. it would settle him down more, esp his agents. i mean u wont be hearing anymore of those annoying transfer rumors now that his captain, u knw?

  17. cantona7 says:

    “Scholes doesn’t want to be the captain” hahahaha what a humble Guy
    I bet berbatov also would wear it just a few times just to have a feel, then would refuse it


You must be logged in to post a comment.