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Expect the unexpected as battle for captain of Team Europe 2014 hots up

The "guess who?" palaver surrounding Europe's next Ryder Cup captain has had all the twists and turns of a matchplay tie itself.

It seems the only thing that is certain in this game is the uncertainty. The Miracle of Medinah taught us that.

In the build-up to the European Tour's tournament committee meeting in Abu Dhabi today – a gathering that will be a bit like 12 Angry Men but with three more bodies and couple of dodgy sweaters – the speculation surrounding the captain of Team Europe at Gleneagles in 2014 has reached staggering levels.

Rarely has there been such intrigue over who will lead the continent in the defence of the little gold chalice against the USA.

But that's the Ryder Cup in the modern era: a huge, all-consuming beast of a contest that continues to grow arms and legs with each staging of the biennial bout. Fuelled by rolling news and constant internet opinions, you'd think this was the biggest decision in the history of golf. Let's hope we will get some closure on the matter at some point today during a meeting that will probably be long and potentially argumentative.

Paul McGinley, the amiable Irishman, who has been a highly respected and valued vice-captain in recent years seemed the natural choice for the role. Then came the emergence of Darren Clarke before Colin Montgomerie was thrust into the limelight and tipped to reprise his role of 2010 after Clarke suggested that Europe needed a man of stature to counter the USA's appointment of Tom Watson. Amid the frenzy, rumour and conjecture over the last few days, Clarke has indicated that he may not want to be considered now. It's all become slightly messy.

McGinley, of course, will know how abruptly things can develop. He was in the same meeting back in 2009 when, almost out of the blue, the captain's armband was thrust into Monty's hands.

It is well-known the Scot would love another crack at the job, particularly in his own backyard of Perthshire, and the clamour for him to return has grown frantically.

McGinley, though, has some big-hitting player power behind him. Rory McIlroy, the world No.1, and Luke Donald have both nailed their colours to the mast and have Tweeted their support for the Dubliner.

Whether that will sway opinion in the Middle East today remains to be seen. Predict the unpredictable seems to be the way in the Ryder Cup, after all.

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