Tottenham's wantaway midfielder Luka Modric was surprisingly made captain this week for a pre-season friendly with Orlando Pirates in South Africa. Harry Redknapp's shock appointment was thought to be a move to keep hold of the Croatian, who has handed in a transfer request. With Chelsea preparing to make another bid to prize the 25-year-old from White Hart Lane, Redknapp appears to be playing his final card to persuade Modric to stay with the north London club.
The controversial decision to give the armband to a player who doesn't want to play for Tottenham brought to mind these other sporting captaincy cock-ups...
NIGEL QUASHIE RIDES TO THE RESCUE OF SOUTHAMPTON... SORT OF
Serial relegation-sufferer Quashie hasn't had much luck over the years. The journeyman arrived at Southampton in January 2005, to rejoin his old Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp. The Saints were in a relegation battle and 'Arry thought Quashie would be the perfect man to take the captain's role as he had experienced the drop twice before. It turned out to be the wrong decision, as Southampton went down, the third of four occasions in which Quashie would suffer the dreaded drop (QPR '96, Forest '99 and West Brom '06).
FABIO CAPELLO'S BUNGLED HANDLING OF John Terry
Terry had his England armband taken away in 2010 after revelations of his affair with team-mate Wayne Bridge's ex-girlfriend were revealed. The scandal resulted in Bridge quitting the team and an unsettled atmosphere among the squad just before the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Rio Ferdinand was handed the armband, but after suffering from persistant injuries, Fabio Capello announced that Terry would once again be team captain in March 2011, the England manager said: "After one year of punishment, Terry will again be the permanent captain. I think one year's punishment is enough."
ANDREW FLINTOFF'S ASHES WHITEWASH
Freddie Flintoff was one of the stars of England's dramatic Ashes win in 2005. When captain Michael Vaughan and vice-captain Marcus Trescothick were unable to play in a February 2006 Test with India, Flintoff was announced as captain. A win against India in a drawn series gave Flintoff a solid start in his new role, but this was followed by a 5-0 whitewash to the Australians in the 2006 Ashes, the worst defeat for England since 1921. Flintoff had also been warned about his inappropriate behaviour on tour, which didn't bode well for the team's supposed leader. When Michael Vaughan returned from injury for the 2007 World Cup, Flintoff was made vice-captain. It was during the tournament in the West Indies that Flintoff was caught up in the infamous 'Fredalo' incident; Flintoff had to be rescued after falling off a pedalo during a night of drinking and clubbing, just two days before a match against Canada. Unsurprisingly, he was stripped of his vice-captaincy and made to make a public apology for his actions.
CARLOS TEVEZ: WANTAWAY CAPTAIN
The nomadic Argentine was given the Manchester City captain's armband by Roberto Mancini at the beginning of last season. Questions were raised over his suitabilty after rumours surfaced of unease between Tevez and Mancini, particularly after he handed in a transfer request in December 2010. Previous captain Kolo Toure suggested that Mancini had given Tevez the armband to help assimilate him with the team, "in order that he would become a lot more involved with the club’s squad." Tevez might have performed on the pitch, helping City win the FA Cup, but at the end of the season he made it quite clear he didn't want to be there as he handed in another transfer request. Hardly the stuff captains are made of.
In 2008 it seemed Nick Faldo, a veteran of 11 European Ryder Cup teams and overall highest point scorer ever, would make the perfect team captain and he duly got the nod for the tournament at Valhalla, Louisville, Kentucky. Things deteriorated quickly, however, when Faldo managed to inadvertently show photographers his opening-day pairings before they'd been announced. His selections didn't go down well with his critics either, as he dropped Lee Westwood for having blisters on his feet. On the final day, Faldo let the players choose the order they played in, but nothing could stop the Americans from winning 16 and a half to 11 and a half, the largest defeat since 1981. In his losing press conference, six-time major winner Faldo refused to take the blame and left saying, "Officially no more." He was right, because he was swiftly replaced by Colin Montgomery for the 2010 tournament, in which the European team stormed to victory once again.
Aaron Ramsey THROWN INTO THE DRAGON'S DEN
The 20-year-old Arsenal midfielder was selected as Wales captain in March 2011 for a European qualifier against England. At 20 years and 90 days, Ramsey became the youngest captain in his country's history, less than a year since he returned from a horrific double leg fracture. Unfortunately things didn't go to plan for the Welsh, as England cruised to a 2-0 win at the Millennium Stadium and the Welsh side fell to a ranking of 114th in the world, level with the Faroe Islands. Wales manager Gary Speed's decision to give the captaincy to a player so young came under fire, with more experienced players such as James Collins or Ashley Williams overlooked in favour of the green Ramsey.