Blog: Jack Price for captain at Wolves?
Leadership is a commodity not to prevalent in modern sport and particularly in football, writes Wolves blogger Graham Large.
And that rings true with many of Wolverhampton Wanderers' performances this season.
Every time Wolves concede a goal, I look to see who reacts which player reacts first.
They have been visibly rudderless too many times – no one shouting, no one arguing and no one to gee the players up and call for a response.
Time after time, the ball flew into the net and no one said a word.
It's not just when we concede, we have been without someone to rally round when things were going wrong in general.
No one seems to want to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and drive the team forward.
Enter Jack Price, whose tenacity and mobility has added bite to a line-up that has lacked leadership all too often.
By common consent, the 23-year-old is not just the team's most consistent player, he is also their most influential. When Price plays, Wolves play better. It's almost an exact science.
With Kevin McDonald becoming an increasingly peripheral figure at Molineux, Price has taken the opportunity to stamp his authority on the Wolves midfield.
Before now, Price has been seen by boss Kenny Jackett as a safe pair of hands, a player deployed to shore things up during a bad run of form, but now he is beginning to flourish in the role of midfield general.
At a time when Danny Batth has been criticised for being short of leadership qualities, despite being team captain.
There would be many Wolves fans who could envisage Price in such a role whether it's next season or further down the line.
Captains have different responsibilities to most players. In the main, they're expected to turn in good, consistent performances week after week. You expect off-days to be few and far between.
But, even on their bad days, you look to them to remain calm in the face of adversity and to keep the team on track.
There's no set formula for finding a good captain, but in my view central midfielders are best suited to the role.
In that area of the pitch, they are constantly linking with defenders and attackers alike, meaning they have more influence on the team as a whole than say a goalkeeper, defender or attacker.
Price has all of the credentials you look for in a leader. In a tight, high-intensity game, he comes into his own.
He works tirelessly to shield the back four, makes a number of key interceptions and is able to move the ball quickly and safely under increased pressure.
Whilst he prefers to cut out a pass, he is not afraid to tackle either – and that's the type of commitment you need from a midfield general.
You also look at a player's attitude. When a captain's head starts to drop, you know you're in trouble. The pleasing thing about Price is that I can only see him getting better.
He's had a number of impressive spells since graduating from the club's academy system, but his progress been hampered by a few things.
For starters, he was jettisoned in favour of Lee Evans and new arrivals Tommy Rowe and George Saville last season and sent out on loan twice – to Yeovil and Leyton Orient respectively.
Then, after winning back his place alongside McDonald, he again found himself on the sidelines due to Jackett preferring new signing Conor Coady.
However, Price has overcome these obstacles and continued to develop his game.
Previously you wouldn't have uttered his name in the same breath as the likes of Nouha Dicko and McDonald as one of Wolves' star players.
But, with his growing stature every week, you wonder how long it's until his talent becomes more widely recognised.
Some may draw question marks over Price's age and experience when picking a captain but, as a wise man once said, 'if you're good enough, you're old enough.'
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