The Reds' talisman has been named as the new skipper for Euro 2012 under Roy Hodgson and feels that he has more confidence and belief, in part because of the managerial change
The Liverpool midfielder has been chosen by new national team boss Roy Hodgson to take the captain's armband from previous skipper Scott Parker for the friendlies against Norway and Belgium and, beyond that, the Euros.
Gerrard will replace Parker after the industrious Tottenham midfielder was handed the task of leading the country into a new era by interim boss Stuart Pearce, and feels that he is benefitting from Hodgson's decision to promote him.
Gerrard told reporters: “Capello always had belief in me as a player but it was clear he didn’t have total belief for me to be official captain.
“This manager has come in and done that — it’s very nice and good for my confidence and belief.
“I’ll do this for as long as the manager wants me to."
The Italian appointed a total of six captains during his time at the helm of English football, although he did give Gerrard the armband at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa after Rio Ferdinand was ruled out with injury. John Terry was the longest-term fixture but the Chelsea defender was stripped of the captaincy after allegations about his private life.
But having been named as skipper for the second successive major tournament, Gerrard wants to show fans and fellow players alike the on-pitch leadership they have been missing.
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He added: “It feels like the first time I’ve been official captain. All the other times, I’ve known the armband was going to go back, either after the tournament or individual games.
“You’ve got to relish it. It’s fantastic. It’s something I’ve always dreamed of. I’ve been in this set-up for a long time, so I’m big enough to handle this responsibility.”
Hodgson had Gerrard as his captain during his unsuccessful stint at Anfield, and admits that the experience influenced his choice of skipper for the national team.He said: “Working with him for seven months and getting to know his qualities aided me in my decision.”
Gerrard's former club-mate, Norway international full-back John Arne Riise, now at Fulham, also believes that the 31-year-old is suited to the role for his battling qualities alone, pointing to the famous Champions League final comeback against Milan in 2005 as firm evidence.
Riise told the media: “He was the best player I had played with from the moment I joined Liverpool.
“He will be the perfect England captain.
“I remember the second half of the Champions League final when we were 3-0 down.
“He just played right-back, centre-back, right midfield, centre midfield and striker. That is the perfect captain and the perfect player.
“People say I talk a lot about him but people deserve credit when they are one of the best and he is one of them.
“He is a hard-working player, he never gives up.”