Liverpool's Stewart Downing: Gerrard is the perfect choice to captain England against Netherlands

The winger believes there would be nobody better than his team-mate to skipper the country after John Terry was stripped of the armband

Steven Gerrard would be the ideal candidate to take over the England captaincy, according to Liverpool team-mate Stewart Downing.

Following the Football Association's decision to strip John Terry of the armband, Downing feels interim manager Stuart Pearce could do worse than hand the Reds' skipper the role in Wednesday's friendly against Holland.

Gerrard has captained England of 15 previous occasions, most recently in September 2010.

"He's captained Liverpool for many years and done very well and if picked for England would do that job well," the Downing told reporters.

"He's a big player for Liverpool and England, has a great influence on England and drives teams on so if he is given the captaincy then great."

Downing, who was man of the match in Sunday's Carling Cup final victory, also hopes that Gerrard does not bring a curtain down on international career following Euro 2012.

"He certainly has [a lot to offer]," he said. "I've not spoken to Steven about if he will retire after the tournament. I'll be selfish and hope he stays on."

Since Fabio Capello's resignation, Downing insists not knowing who will manage England at the European Championships is not a distraction for the squad.

"We've got a big tournament coming up in the summer," he added.

“It's a good test for us against the Dutch. They've got a strong squad, but I'm confident we can get a result.

"Every time a new manager comes in it's a fresh start for us. It's a challenge to impress a manager and you need challenges in football to keep you going.

"I think we have to be strong-minded and concentrate on the games. The FA will take care of the new manager, at the moment Stuart Pearce is in charge and we are right behind him.

"I think everyone is touting [Tottenham boss] Harry [Redknapp], he's obviously the favourite to get the job. If he gets the job the players will obviously do their best, but at the moment it's Stuart Pearce."