By Nick Teale
Arsène Wenger believes the role of captain isn't as important in football as some people make out.
The manager feels that the influence of a skipper is overplayed in England because the player who leads the side out before a match cannot have much impact on other players once the game kicks off.

Wenger acknowledges that captaincy is more relevant in other major team sports, such as rugby and cricket, but he has his doubts that the ‘armband' really matters in football.

"Yes [captaincy] is overplayed, without a doubt," said the manager.
"[You have to make] an instant decision in a very quick time. The captain has no time to interfere with the individual decisions of the players on the pitch.
"Maybe in some other sports like rugby the captain has a bit more freedom and importance than in football."
Wenger also offered his take on why the role of team captain is deemed so important in English sport. He believes it could be down to the history of the country.

"Maybe it has historical roots in battles and fighting," he said. "Certainly the captain had always traditionally in the history of England, a big role and a big importance.

"I like that, but team sport is linked with recent history, the 20th Century. Before you had no team sport, it turned up with democracy. Before that, it was all fighting, and so maybe it is linked with historical roots."

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5 Feb 2010