“I believe there is the strongest possible case for Steven carrying on, regardless of Rio’s fitness,” said the ex-Liverpool midfielder.
Fabio Capello selected Gerrard, 30, as the man to lead the national team following FerdinandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s injury and after John Terry was stripped of the captaincy earlier this year. The Liverpool midfielder held the prestigious role throughout a turbulent World Cup campaign.
Gerrard, who scored in EnglandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s World Cup opener against the USA, was one of the few members of Capello’s 23-man squad to produce some respectable performances in South Africa.
When England returned to action in late August, Gerrard scored twice to inspire the national side to a 2-1 victory over Hungary. Last Friday he proved an influential figure during England’s emphatic 4-0 win over Bulgaria in the first round of the European Championships qualifiers.
And Murphy believes Gerrard has done enough during FerdinandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s absence to stay on as the leader of the national side.
“He leads by example, as he has shown in the last two games, and is the best player in the England team,” said the former Charlton star. “He is emerging as our real leader. He carried the armband through the World Cup and has been a real inspiration in the two opening games.
“There is no one better for the job. This is not me having a pop at Rio in any way. He has done absolutely nothing wrong but, given his unfortunate injury record, he will be grateful to be back in the squad.
“Just being named in an England party again will be plenty for him to be going on with.”
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