Padraig Harrington reckons Paul McGinley is too young to captain Europe's Ryder Cup side at Celtic Manor in 2010.
The US squad will be skippered by pint-sized Corey Pavin but Harrington believes that pocket battleship McGinley, who turns 42 today, will be fighting to claim his fourth Ryder Cup win from four appearances when the matches are played in Wales.
While he tipped McGinley as a future European captain, Harrington said: "As a player he is too young and he should be concentrating on making the team. Paul has had a very successful year that has been overshadowed by a really tremendous year for Irish golf and he will continue to build on that.
"I can't see him being captain in Wales. There might be an opportunity there but he is going to be concentrating on making the team."
McGinley resigned as one of Nick Faldo’s assistants to concentrate on making this year’s Ryder Cup team but failed to make it.
And he’s already declared his intention of making the 2010 side where 1995 US Open Pavin lead the United States in their defence of the title.
Harrington said: "They have chosen another strong character for the job in Corey Pavin. He is someone who has got the most out of his game. He is somebody who was a fighter on the golf course, a really tough character and someone who will bring very similar traits to his team as Paul Azinger did.”
The European Tour Players’ Committee will sit down to discuss the 2010 captaincy in Abu Dhabi next month. But Harrington does not believe there is any need to rush headlong into choosing a successor to Nick Faldo as the 2010 Ryder Cup qualification period does not begin until the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre in Switzerland from September 3-6
"I think Europe will be looking forward to a tough match and Corey is a good choice,” Harrington said. “The issue with Europe is that we can't choose that captain until a later date.
"There are a number of players who are still playing who might want to put their hat in the ring for that. It is a question of waiting until the nearer the date because it is hard to tell who we have to choose from."
Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam are the favourites for the European job with the likes of McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Jose Maria Olazabal or Miguel Angel Jimenez determined to make the team as players.
Harrington does not rule himself out of the reckoning for the captaincy in the future, though he pointed out that it is a two-edged sword.
He said: "Every European would like the idea of captaining the team. But as it has been proved to be a tough job.
"It is a bit like competing to win a tournament. If you take it on, you are putting your neck on the line. Success determines that you are a great captain. And failure determines you are a terrible captain. It is not how you do but how your team does."