O Captain, your subconscious has wrecked my Bentley
“O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.”
Ok, maybe a tad over dramatic but you catch my drift.
Reports are abound that the latest incumbent is about to disappear off & leave Arsenal searching for a new leader.
Since Big Tone held the role, the armband hasn’t pulled at the heart strings of the owner enough to lead them to stay & fight for the cause & hold the position in the esteem it deserves.
The Captains Roll Call:
After taking over from Kenny Sansom in 1993, Tony became the most successful captain in the clubs history.
As captain, he won the League 4 times (1988/89, 1990/91, 1997/98 & 2001/02), The FA Cup 3 times (1993, 1998 & 2002), The League Cup in 1993, The Cup Winners’ Cup in 1994 & obviously 2 doubles in 98 & 02.
He spent a total of 14 years at the club, with 9 of them as captain. Tony epitomised what a loyal captain should be & since this point no one has lived up to that benchmark.
The only obvious replacement to Big Tony, Patrick was promoted from captain of vice on Adam’s retirement.
PV4 became the first foreign player to skipper the club & his uncompromising attitude on the pitch, provided the inspiration to players & fans alike.
Paddy’s success was up there with Tony’s, becoming the only modern day captain to lead a team to the league title unbeaten in 03/04.
Following up the FA cup win in 03, Vieria’s final act for Arsenal was to score the winning penalty against Brand United in the 2005 cup final, before scurrying off for a big payday at Juve.
Paddy finally committed his final act of betrayal to the armband by becoming Mancini’s ‘chief scout’ & advising Middle Eastlands on which Arsenal player to poach next.
With no obvious choice, Arsene went with the ‘best player, best captain’ option when appointing TH14.
Thierry does hold the record as the only Arsenal player to lead the side out in a Champions League Final, but he never won a trophy as the holder of the armband & he then followed Patrick’s lead & deserted the post to chase glory with Barça.
Probably the worst choice for captain. Upon Thierry’s departure Billy criticised the clubs managerial policies & Arsene deemed that justification enough to appoint him as captain. This was presumably an attempt to convince Gallas to stay at the club? or just a mind melt.
Billy’s policy as captain was bizarre at best, criticising team mates for “not being brave enough In battle”, having a half time bust up during the Spuds game & to top it all, a full on ‘toys out of the pram’ moment at the end of the infamous Birmingham game.
‘Billy le Sulk’ was relieved of his duties after one season & not surprisingly, didn’t add any trophies during his tenure.
Another case of ‘best player, best captain’, Cesc took over the reins. His remit to attempt to heal the hurt caused by Gallas & lead to young Arsenal side to greater heights.
CF4 lead Arsenal to the Champions League semi final in 2009 & at one stage in the 2011 season was looking at a possible quadruple of trophies, until the ‘forgone conclusion’ of a League Cup Final against Birmingham City went south & the season crumbled from there on in.
Then, as now seems the norm, a big money move (again, to Barça) came along & on August 15th 2011 Arsenal were without their captain once more.
Robin van Persie:
Arsene followed his adopted policy & passed the mantle onto RvP, to again gel the club & lead us onto to glory. His task to reunite the team after Cesc & Na$ri’s departures wasn’t an easy one, but it seemed to work after a late influx of transfers.
Robin managed (probably his first) a season free of injury & in the process picked up the Premier League Golden Boot, PFA & Writers Player of the Season, but again this did not lead to team glory. A creditable 3rd spot was the eventual outcome, following the ignominy of 7 points from our first 7 games & the disaster against Brand United.
But, again, as momentum seemed to be growing & optimism for next season was at a high, another captain drops another bombshell & on July 4th 2012 Robin declared his ‘Independence Day’ & announced he would not be signing a new contract at Arsenal & eventually buggered off to Brand United.
And now, after picking up Arsenals first trophy in 9 years, it looks like The Verminator is following in Van PurseStrings & buggering off up the M6 to the 9th level of hell.
In 6 seasons, TV has gone from one of the EPL’s top defenders to scrabbling around waiting for an injury to get a game. It’s tough, but, if he believed in the armband, he would stay, fight & regain him form.
and at least there is a fair chance he will stay, fight for the privilege to wear the armband & see the job through.
On the topic of buggering off…
It is all but official that Bac has joined the money whores at Ethiad City & it seemed appropriate to thank Monsieur Sagna for his 7 years of quality service & wish him well on his future employment as waterboy & understudy duties to Pablo Zabaleta.
Understudy to Debuchy and Zabaleta
It would therefore also be a good time to look at Arsene’s history at employing full backs & see if this gives us any pointers to his possible replacement.
Looking at the right back stats, Wenger seems to have his preference.
Following the retirement of Lee Dixon, Arsene has made a number of forays into the right back market. With one exception (Oleg) the 3 full time replacements (100+ appearances) since Dixon left in 2002, have been:
Lauren, Eboue & Sagna
All 3 are mobile, attack minded full backs, with the ability to cover a secondary position if required and all are African or of African descent. Wether this is coincidence or a subconscious decision, only Wenger knows, but this would surge to an obvious choice to fill Bac’s shoes;
Serge Aurier to be a Gunner???
Attack minded, mobile, right back who can also play centre back, is a mean crosser of a ball & is from the Ivory Coast.
Let’s hope Toulouse don’t hike the price now he’s performing on the world stage!!! Not too late to check him out in the flesh at the WC through Football Ticket Trade.
Also it has been reported that at the ripe old age of 29, ex-Gooner David ‘the next Beckham’ Bentley
has retired from football, citing that he has fallen out of love with the game because it has become ‘to robotic & boring’.
Yeah, whatever !!
I would venture it has more to do with not being able to get a contract, than the current state of football.
Put simply, ‘Suck it up’, I’m sure there are things we all hate about our jobs, but we still go in everyday.
Plus the fact that 99% of people reading this with give their left (& probably right) nut to play professional football & to blow it off at 29 is a kick in the (willingly removed) nuts to all of us!!
Still, with his millions? I’m sure Bentley will running a bar near you soon 😉
TheSundayMorningGooner: Sub consciously looking for my captain & his unloved Bentley