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Stevie deserves the full Monte.

Byline: Terry Butcher

WHAT'S the capital of Montenegro and its total population? And who should be England's captain for Tuesday's big game at Wembley? The answer to the first is Podgorica and just under 700,000.

The answer to the second should be Steven Gerrard.

As a man who was proud to lead his country, I firmly believe Gerrard should retain the skipper's armband, even if Rio Ferdinand returns after his long lay-off.

Gerrard has not done anything wrong as England captain.

Rio's not done anything right to reclaim it.

In fact, Rio must be the luckiest man in England to get back in the team on Tuesday night.

If Phil Jagielka had been fit I reckon manager Fabio Capello would and should have kept the Everton man in his side.

If the armband is taken off Gerrard now, it would be devastating for Steve and send out the wrong message in the England dressing room.

He has dragged England back from the edge of the precipice that was the World Cup campaign.

He's been an inspiration to his country as we've made a flying start to our Euro 2012 campaign.

I have been impressed with the recent shape of Capello's team particularly on the flanks although the absence of the suspended James Milner should provide an opportunity for someone like Ashley Young.

As Montenegro defend deep and counterattack well, it is vital the wide men get round the back and get in fast and firm crosses across the box.

My major concern surrounds Wayne Rooney. The absence of Jermain Defoe has badly affected the chemistry of the front line and Capello has to decide who partners Roo.

Darren Bent has more mobility than Peter Crouch and would appear to be more in favour than the lanky Spurs striker.

Bent's powerful strike against Switzerland could just have given him the edge.

PS. I was staying in Turnberry on Friday night and watched Scotland's appalling defeat in a hotel bar with my dog Fritz.

Yesterday the RSPCA called to warn me about cruelty to animals.

Yes, Scotland were that bad!

TERRY'S STARTING XI

JOE HART GLEN JOHNSON RIO FERDINAND JOHN TERRY ASHLEY COLE ADAM JOHNSON STEVEN GERRARD (C) GARETH BARRY ASHLEY YOUNG WAYNE ROONEY DARREN BENT

CAPTION(S):

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC: Gerrard and boss Capello
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUE
Date:Oct 10, 2010
Words:383
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Next Article:ROONEY: I'd never turn my back on England; GROUP G QUALIFIER: ENGLAND v MONTENEGRO AT WEMBLEY.

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