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Kevin Ratcliffe questions Aaron Ramsey appointment

2012 European Championship qualifying Group G - Wales v England
Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Saturday, 26 March Kick-off: 1500 GMT
Coverage: Full coverage on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & online, live text commentary online and score updates on BBC Sport website. Live on Sky Sports 1

Wales captain Aaron Ramsey
Ramsey has won 11 caps for Wales since making his debut in 2008

Former Wales skipper Kevin Ratcliffe is unsure if Aaron Ramsey is ready to take on the role of national team captain.

The Arsenal player will become Wales' youngest captain on Saturday when he leads his side out against England.

Wales manager Gary Speed has confirmed the 20-year old as skipper, to the surprise of Ratcliffe and many others.

"For somebody who hasn't played a great deal of football at his club, I think he's shown great faith in the lad," said the former Everton defender.

The Euro 2012 qualifier will be the midfielder's first game at international level for 16 months after in February 2010 an horrific broken leg.

Ramsey, who was injured in a tackle by Stoke's Ryan Shawcross started his first game for Arsenal last weekend after loan spells at Nottingham Forest and Cardiff.

Ramsey was a shock choice as Craig Bellamy's successor and was given the role ahead of more experienced members of the squad.

Ratcliffe, who won 59 caps for Wales between 1981 and 1993, had expected the appointment of a more experienced player.

"I would have thought there were better options within the squad, someone like Ashley Williams or James Collins," Ratcliffe told BBC Wales.

"I know his qualities as a player, but is he a leader? For me at the moment he is very immature I think to be a captain.

"But Gary's obviously had a good look at it. He sees the future of Welsh football in Aaron Ramsey.

"He's going to be in the Welsh squad for a long time so maybe he's looking to the future.

"I think that's what Gary's looking at. He's looking at the next 10 years not just this game."

Another former captain, Chris Coleman, has also described Speed's choice of Ramsey as Wales captain as a brave decision.

"Gary obviously sees a future captain there," the former Fulham and Coventry manager told BBC Wales' Sport Wales programme.

"I never expected it," said Coleman. "I actually thought James Collins would have got it.

"He got it out in Ireland and is playing Premier League football week in, week out and is used to being in the thick of it.

He leads by example on and off the pitch and I think everyone looks up to him as well

Gary Speed

"Gary was brave as a player and he's been brave as a manager.

"As I understand Aaron's a quiet lad, but a good captain is not necessarily a noisy one.

"They can lead within their play and they can carry other players around them and I'm sure Aaron Ramsey's good enough to do that.

"He's very brave. He'll take the ball anywhere on the park whether he's playing good, bad or indifferent.

"That shows courage and I'm sure the players around him will trust him and follow him."

Wales boss Speed said that Ramsey had shown all the attributes needed to be a captain during his recovery from serious injury

"He leads by example on and off the pitch and I think everyone looks up to him as well," said Speed.

"I made the decision because I thought it was best for the team and Welsh football going forward. There have been young captains in the past.

"I think Cesc [Fabregas] was very young when he got captain of Arsenal, Tony Adams was also very young.

"Once I had stopped worrying about other factors - what people outside the team think - it was a no-brainer in the end."

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see also
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Ramsey delight at Wales captaincy
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Injured Bale out of England clash
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Wales deputy's Twitter outburst
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Williams eager for England test
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Wales players tuning up for game
23 Mar 11 |  Welsh
Why Wales hold out Wembley hope
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