Captains. Leaders. Legends. 

These are the men we'd run through a brick wall for. These are the guys that never back down, never duck from the line of fire. Their faces are always primed for a pummelling. "Concussion? Sounds like a Will Smith film that nobody watched," they say.

These are the men of today, but probably not tomorrow - snowflakes and that. These are our captains. But only one can be crowned king. Only one can get us out of our seats, onto our desks and, through misty eyes, reel off the immortal salute: "O Captain! My captain!"

"Sounds like a bad Robbie Williams film", they say, these foolhardy few. But we know.

We also know the correct order in which they should be ranked. Here it is.

20. Granit Xhaka - Arsenal

Granit Xhaka

Here he is. Daffy Duck. Donald Duck. Duck Phillips. Granit Xhaka. What do all four have in common?

Their inherent ducking, the ducking nerve. 

"Yeah but my mum, she gave me the key to the house, even though my brother was old-"

SHUT UP, Granit.

19. Ashley Young - Manchester United

Ashley Young

Ashley Young is Manchester United captain. Ashley Young. 

I ask you, would Ashley Young be captaining any other team in the Premier League (apart from Arsenal) if he was on their books? 

No, he wouldn't. That's why he's here.

18. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg - Southampton

Pierre-Emile Ho¸jbjerg

Did you know that 24-year-old Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was Southampton captain? Cause I'll be real, I definitely didn't. And I definitely don't know why.

17. Simon Francis - Bournemouth

Simon Francis

Starting to get bogged down with injury and has played just one minute of Premier League football this season. But...looks the part?

16. Grant Hanley - Norwich

Grant Hanley,Tammy Abraham

Has a leader-y name and face. Scored an own goal seven minutes into Norwich's Premier League return.

15. David Silva - Manchester City

David Silva,Taylor Harwood-Bellis

He's no Vinnie Kompany, backs-to-the-wall, face-screaming, ground-pounding, chest-beating chief. But he's old, likeable and excellent at football. That's not bad going. 

Soft touch with the youth as well, clearly.

14. Lewis Dunk - Brighton


Shouts like a captain, heads like a captain and is the number one name on the teamsheet. 

Still, someone called 'Dunk' can only be so motivational.

13. Luka Milivojevic - Crystal Palace

Luka Milivojevic

*inaudible Serbian shouting* Yeah, I reckon Milivojevic could get me pumped.

12. Ben Mee - Burnley

Proud chairman of the Proper Captains Block Shots With Their Face fraternity. 

He's also one of those players you think is 24 right up until he's 30. Make of that what you will in this context, but it feels noteworthy. 

11. Jack Grealish - Aston Villa

Jack Grealish

Runs till his boots fall off. Now there's a man I could get behind. At least until I realised he's still basically a teenager.

10. Seamus Coleman - Everton

Seamus Coleman

Feel like his persistent berating would get to me after a while - yes, this has suddenly descended into purely how I personally would react to these people - but the initial results would be promising.

9. Hugo Lloris - Tottenham

Hugo Lloris

Not sure what his style of leadership is, or how he deploys it, but he's the only man on this list whose taken his country to World Cup glory, so you can't really question it. At least not too much. 

FWIW, a Spurs supporting colleague urged me to put him 20th. Again, make of that what you will.

8. Cesar Azpilicueta - Chelsea

Cesar Azpilicueta Tanco

Sure, his on-field capabilities may be on the wane, but he's definitely not lost his inspirational touch. The Spaniard has always been a lead by example kind of defender and has learnt from the best at doing so.

His handling of the Reece James spectre steadily materialising behind him has also firmly canonised him as a 'Class Act'.

7. Wes Morgan - Leicester

wes morgan,Isaiah Brown

He may be a bit beefy these days, but the pedigree is there. In fact, he's the only Premier League-winning captain on this list. Impressive.

6. Billy Sharp - Sheffield United


Scores like a captain. Celebrates like a captain.

5. Conor Coady - Wolves

Conor Coady

He just looks like a captain. Feels like a captain. Talks like a captain. Walks like a captain.

4. Jamaal Lascelles - Newcastle 

Jamaal Lascelles

Breathes like a captain. Grafts like a captain. Laughs like a captain. Cries like a captain.

3. Jordan Henderson - Liverpool

Jordan Henderson

Pings it like a captain. Hits it like a captain. Lippy like a captain. Niggly like a captain.

2. Troy Deeney - Watford

Troy Deeney,Seamus Coleman

Calls other teams out for having no cojones, LIKE A CAPTAIN.

1. Mark Noble - West Ham

Mark Noble

While others are 'like' a captain, Mark Noble IS a captain. He lives as a captain. And, when the Hammer of time finally strikes him down, he will die as a captain. 

He is the last vestige of Propah British Spirit. Bottle it up. Sell it for thousands of shillings. They don't make 'em like this anymore. Believe me. He's Mr West Ham for a reason. And that reason is pure, unbridled pashun for the Claret and Blue. He bleeds it. His blood has literally got weird bits of blue speckled in it. And gold, for sponsorship reasons. Obviously.

This is only partly sarcastic. Noble isn't Henry V (though he did get a couple of shoutouts from him back in the day), but he's a great leader, and he's been so for some time.