Boat stripped of captaincy

Southgate changes skipper

By Graeme Bailey   Last updated: 21st January 2008

Boat stripped of captaincy

Boateng: No longer Boro skipper

Gareth Southgate has confirmed that George Boateng is no longer Middlesbrough captain.

Julio Arca took the armband on Saturday at Blackburn despite the fact Boateng also started.

"I made the decision because I wanted George to be able to concentrate on his game," Southgate told the Evening Gazette.

"Julio has already proved himself to be a good leader and I felt it would be of benefit to everybody."

Concentration

Southgate insisted he wants Boateng to concentrate on his football, playing down suggestions it may be related to the recent bust-up the pair had.

"George's performances have been excellent and I want it to stay that way. I want him to be free in his mind to enjoy his football," he said.

"I've explained the situation to George and he is totally at ease with the situation.

"His professionalism has been excellent over the last couple of weeks. His performances show how much pride he has in his personal contribution."

Arca is seemingly in line to continue but it remains to be seen who the long-term replacement will be, with the likes of Jonathan Woodgate and Luke Young likely to challenge the Argentine for the honour.