Middlesbrough relieve Boateng of captaincy

George Boateng has been relieved of the Middlesbrough captaincy to concentrate on his football.

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Fellow midfielder Julio Arca was skipper at Blackburn on Saturday and, when Arca was unable to resume after the interval because of injury, Emanuel Pogatetz led the team out for the second half.

Gareth Southgate told the Evening Gazette: "I made the decision because I wanted George to be able to concentrate on his game.

"Julio has already proved himself to be a good leader and I felt it would be of benefit to everybody.

"George's performances have been excellent and I want it to stay that way. I want him to be free in his mind to enjoy his football.

"I've explained the situation to George and he is totally at ease with the situation.

"His professionalism has been excellent over the last couple of weeks. His performances show how much pride he has in his personal contribution."

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