England international Tom Heaton issues advice on selecting captains


Selecting a new captain on Football Manager is perhaps one of the most daunting tasks you can face ahead of a new season, as the wrong choice can immediately shatter the squad morale and lead to some big issues.

The standard practice is to normally keep the players that are already established at the club but it’s not always the right point of call. After all, I can’t imagine anyone using Arsenal on Football Manager 2018 will actually stick with Per Mertesacker.

Discussing a change in captaincy with the current skipper is vital and then you need to make a decision based on a player’s experience, leadership and standing within the squad, as it’s pointless appointing a captain who doesn’t play.

Whilst some may go with the view that it’s the wrong call selecting a goalkeeper to be a captain due to the player’s position, England goalkeeper and Burnley skipper Tom Heaton has given an insight into the challenges he faces wearing the armband- and none of them are brought around due to his position.

Speaking ahead of the new season, Heaton said:

“I’ve never really understood that mindset but everyone’s got a different way of looking at it.”

“It depends what you’re after really, if you’re talking about communicating I still talk to the front-men on the pitch so I don’t see the issue with it there.”

“I have heard that before, the talk about the captain being in the middle of the pitch so they can affect people. I still try to have an effect on every player on there, if a message needs to be sent across it doesn’t matter where they are. I just try to do it the best way I can and do what’s required.”

It’s certainly worth thinking about if you’re looking to change captains next season, so I posed a direct question to the 2018 World Cup hopeful- should I consider goalkeepers as captains rather than overlooking them. The answer, it turns out, is fairly obvious.

“Maybe so. I’ve not really had too many challenges really.”

“The referees often talk about using a player on the field and obviously I’m not going to run 70 yards to deal with something at the corner flag. Other than that, no major issues.”

So take that into consideration for your Football Manager career moving forward and don’t rule-out the prospect of a goalkeeper leading the side. It may not be the traditional choice but it certainly seems to have the same tactical benefits.