Parker skippers England

2012-02-29 21:15

London - Scott Parker was officially confirmed as England's captain for the friendly international with the Netherlands at Wembley here on Wednesday.

Interim manager Stuart Pearce handed Parker the armband despite the presence in the starting line-up of Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, who had been widely expected to skipper England.

There were few other surprises in England's starting XI, although Pearce raised eyebrows by picking Everton's Leighton Baines at leftback ahead of the more experienced Ashley Cole.

Manchester City's Micah Richards was at rightback with Manchester United's Chris Smalling partnering Gary Cahill at centre-half.

Gerrard, Parker and Gareth Barry made up the midfield behind a front three of Adam Johnson, Ashley Young and Danny Welbeck.