Captaincy woes ahead as Manchester bosses wield rotation hammer


Trouble lies ahead. Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to rest Robin van Persie to the bench today and Roberto Mancini’s call to hook Carlos Tevez off on the hour-mark could be a grim sign of things to come.

With the Champions League group stages kicking off on Tuesday, it appears that no-one is safe from rest and rotation, even at such an early stage in the season.

Let’s not forget the Manchester clubs were without Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero, yet Tevez and Van Persie saw a combined 82 minutes between them.

With Tevez and Van Persie serious considerations for our Fantasy Premier League (FPL) captaincy on a weekly basis, we are set for plenty uncertainty with our armband choice, especially before Champions League games.

Add in the imminent returns of Rooney and Aguero, and can we place the armband on any of these players with a degree of certainty?

Next week’s captaincy looks intriguing, with Eden Hazard perhaps frontrunner with a home game against travel-sick Stoke, while Tevez faces in-form Arsenal, and Van Persie travels to Anfield for a grudge match against arch-rivals Liverpool.

Gameweek 6 is the next Gameweek before a Champions League week, and could potentially offer another rotation headache.

Looking at the fixtures, Man United host Spurs on the Saturday before a trip to Romania to face CFR Cluj-Napoca on Tuesday evening. Man City face Fulham at Craven Cottage on the Saturday before a home tie against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, while Chelsea face a tricky trip to Arsenal on Saturday before a short trip to Denmark to face FC Nordsjælland on Tuesday evening. Arsenal follow that Chelsea game with a home clash against Olympiakos on Wednesday.

Surely handing our armband to the likes of Aguero, Tevez, Rooney, Van Persie or Hazard could be considered a risk in Gameweek 6, with rest on the bench or early substitutions becoming a serious factor.

Interesting times, and intriguing how us Fantasy Managers deal with it. Some will gamble on these players and fail, some will gamble on them and succeed. But it could also encourage leftfield captaincy punts on unfashionable players, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

For me, with my captain coming off the bench for a one-pointer in 50% of my Gameweeks so far, captaining an unfashionable source doesn’t seem such a bad idea right now.