clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Sunderland v Queens Park Rangers - Sky Bet Championship

Filed under:

Is Dan Neil the ideal man to captain Sunderland against Birmingham?

With Luke O’Nien suspended for Saturday’s visit of the Blues, could it be Neil’s chance to wear the armband? We asked our writers for their thoughts!

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Andy Thompson says…

Neil is the obvious choice, but it would be interesting to see who else could take the armband come Saturday and potentially lend their leadership skills to the team.

I think someone like Trai Hume could be a contender.

I can’t speak highly enough of his performances since he first got into the team and he tends to lead from the front with his intensity in the tackle.

He epitomises exactly what the new regime stands for: unearthing an absolute nobody from the Northern Irish league, allowing him time to settle and when given the chance to show what he could do, he grabbed it with both hands to become a mainstay in the team.

It strikes me that he’d be a vocal player in the changing room and wouldn’t shirk responsibility if the chips were down.

His confidence in himself seems apparent, especially his ability to relish a challenge. He’s also comfortable on the ball which indicates a maturity and calmness to his play- vital qualities in any captain.

Finally, the passion he shows, especially in his love for a challenge, would lead to him getting my vote for the armband on Saturday.

Sunderland v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Will Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images

Derek Carter says…

I’d go so far as to say he’s the only choice.

The lad has been one of the unsung heroes this season and he would’ve received many more plaudits if it wasn’t for the fact that Jack Clarke has been pretty much unplayable in most games.

Neil has gone from a local lad being willed on by a crowd hoping he’d make the grade to a vital player in the starting eleven and hopefully that situation will last for many years to come.

He’s matured both physically and mentally in such a short time and for him to lead the team out would be a fitting reward for the hard work he’s put in. As I said earlier, as far as I’m concerned, he’s the only option.

Ewan Bowman says...

I’d have to say yes.

His game has gone up a level this season and given that he’s a local lad, it would be an immensely proud moment for Neil, his family and the fans.

I also think wearing the armband will help to elevate his game to even greater heights.

If I had to pick a second choice, I’d go for Trai Hume. He’s been fantastic since coming into the side and clearly loves being here. I also see him as a natural leader within the team.

I do think it should be Neil and I’d be very surprised if it was given to someone else.

Sunderland v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Will Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images

Tom Albrighton says...

The obvious choice has to be Neil and I’d be surprised if anyone said any differently.

This season, he’s demonstrated incredible maturity in midfield and has been the driving force behind some of our best performances this season.

In tricky times, he hasn’t shirked his responsibilities and has often showed a level of maturity far beyond his years when steering a squad of what is essentially his peers to much acclaim.

Not only this, but with Neil being a local lad, I can’t think of a better choice to replace O’Nien. Having someone who fully understands what it means to not only play for the Lads but to captain them too is absolutely vital, as we’ve often seen.

Local, passionate and extremely talented, Neil is not only the sensible choice but possibly the only real one.


Matchday Musings: Sunderland draw with Millwall… just!


Andy’s Player Ratings: Millwall 1-1 Sunderland - Mackems saved by Jack Clarke penalty


Starting XI: Two changes predicted for Sunderland today! Will Mason Burstow come back in?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Roker Report Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report