Scott Parker is the man Stuart Pearce has chosen to lead England out in their international friendly against Holland at Wembley this evening.
England are 7/4 to see off Holland and the appointment of Parker represents a big change in direction for the Three Lions.
Steven Gerrard was a strong contender but Pearce – who is only caretaker boss for this game at the moment – has decided to take a gamble with the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder.
It’s a move reminiscent of caretaker boss Peter Taylor appointing David Beckham as captain for a friendly against Italy in 2000 and Steve McClaren putting his foot down and handing the armband to John Terry in 2006.
It’s a bold move from Pearce who has faced a modicum of criticism for his first (and potentially last) England squad that contained many of the names who have failed to deliver for their country over the past decade.
This shows that Pearce is determined to be his own man and take some big decisions – and it’s that determination that is needed to do the role on a permanent basis. He is currently 8/1 to be the next England boss.
Harry Redknapp is the big favourite at 1/5 but, if Pearce’s audition goes well this evening, then the odds on him taking charge permanently are sure to come crashing down.
That’s a big ‘if’ though and facing Holland would be a big test for even the most experienced of managers.
The Dutch – who made the final of the 2010 World Cup – are 13/8 to beat England at Wembley and that may be a bet well worth consideration.
If you fancy a bit of a long-odds flutter on the game though, then England captain Parker is 25/1 to open the scoring on his debut as England captain.