Arsenal should IGNORE Spanish leader and replace captain Thomas Vermaelen with a German brick wall

Why Per Mertesacker should be appointed skipper next season regardless of Thomas Vermaelen’s future

Thomas Vermaelen, Per Mertesacker

At the minute the club are facing a pretty awkward situation regarding Thomas Vermaelen’s future being in a three way between himself, Arsenal and league rivals Manchester United. The Arsenal skipper does seem to be pretty tight-lipped on his future at the moment but the fact that this current predicament even exists is why Arsenal should decide on a new skipper regardless of the outcome.

In light of recent transfer activity, as well as current speculation surrounding the club regarding new additions, Arsenal seem to be entering a more positive and ambitious phase. The new Puma deal which enhances Arsenal’s financial muscle as well as ending their well documented trophy drought in may has brought a spark back into Arsene Wenger and everybody associated with the club.

This new era will require an inspirational leader on the pitch who is a guaranteed starter, that man is Per Mertesacker.

Mertesacker joined the club during the bonkers summer of 2011 when Gooners witnessed two of their best players, Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas, leave under sour circumstances.

This left the club in a hot mess scrapping around for replacements and further additions. As a result, many players were bought by the club during the final week of the transfer window, including Mertesacker. A large amount of signings made it difficult for Arsenal to find their rhythm, and they struggled in the early parts of the season as did Mertesacker throughout.

Wenger has always heaped praise on Mertesacker’s character for coming strongly out of that early period in his Arsenal career. Per’s become a fans’ favourite having transformed from the sluggish Big Friendly Giant to a brick wall at the heart of the Arsenal defence – forming a telepathic partnership with Laurent Koscielny in the process, which has kept Vermaelen out of the team.

Should Vermaelen leave I’d hope this would be the last captain that departs the club within a few years of being appointed. This situation could arise again should Wenger decide to promote Mikel Arteta from vice-captain to main.

Thomas Vermaelen, Mikel Arteta

Most are aware that Arteta is gradually declining and struggles in a deep two-man midfield at times. Should Arsenal address this position by bringing in a new midfielder then we could have a Vermaelen situation all over again, where the skipper can’t get a game.

It makes perfect sense that Arsenal’s 2nd vice-captain Mertesacker should take the role. Per is one of the club’s most consistent players, the most vocal on the pitch, one of the eldest and most experienced having been capped over 100 times for World Cup winners Germany.

The FA Cup semi-final was one of his finest moments of inspiration where he brought Arsenal level shortly after gifting Wigan a penalty. The joy and relief was clear to see on the face of Mertesacker in his celebration, everybody understood how important that moment was as Arsenal progressed to the final via a penalty shoot-out.

Mertesacker always continues to fight and galvanise his team-mates when the chips are down, his own performance and effort rubs off on those around him.

In regards to Mertesacker’s future in the team, Arsenal can be grateful that he has been able to adapt to the pace of the Premier League and has learnt how to play to his strengths – intelligence rather than physical or technical brilliance. Positioning himself, knowing when to stay on his feet or dive into a tackle and using his stature to pressure attackers could all see him maintain his current level well into his mid-30’s. He’s 29 at the minute.

In conclusion to outline the headline I believe the club should make this choice, even if Vermaelen does stay. If Arsenal can’t find decent enough cover in defence whilst trying to secure targets in other positions it may be worth keeping Thomas around, they don’t need to rush into strengthening United if they plan to.

Wenger has always praised his character and professionalism so it will be interesting to see that tested if he was forced into giving up the arm-band to a more worthy candidate.

This article previously appeared on http://www.thebottomcorner.com/and we thank them for allowing us to re-produce

 

Subomi Oguntoyinbo


11 Responses to Arsenal should IGNORE Spanish leader and replace captain Thomas Vermaelen with a German brick wall

  1. Kobe July 20, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    “Most are aware that Arteta is gradually declining and struggles in a deep two-man midfield at times”

    What utter nonsense, Arteta had a couple of bad games last season against Liverpool 5-1 and against Chelsea 6-0 but the whole team played bad in them games.

    Arteta was excellent against Liverpool at home in the league, Dortmund etc

    Arteta and Ramsey in midfield never let’s Arsenal down.

    Very disrespectful to Arteta.

    • manamongst July 20, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

      Disrespectful…?

      You´re in another world…he is slow, he hides from the ball,..only passes sideways and backwards…I could go on. But the man is a liability, and is on the decline.

      WAKE UP MAN.

    • Subomi July 20, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

      Kobe

      Arteta showed lots of signs that he is in decline, very good against the lower to mid-table outfits but not good enough for a title chasing team which is the reality. I don’t expect him to be a regular next season and therefore this should rule him out of contention for the armband in my opinion.

      Lacks the physicality to hold but he has tried and has been a good stop-gap option no doubt

    • Mose July 20, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

      I’d rather have Ramsey in the deep six role than Arteta, Id rather have Wilshere n Ramsey in the two Slots of Holding n Defensive roles than arteta, after all A.song and Jack used to do a pretty decent job in midfield while also supporting the attacking trio of Theo Cesc n Nasri, Ramsey n Wilshere can do the same in supporting Theo Ozil n Santi or Chambo considering the fact that Rambo was Epl best tackler we dont need sideways passers at Arsenal.

  2. wam July 20, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    Per for captain, Ramsey as vice captain.

    • david jenson July 20, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

      ramsey should be captain .he plays in the center of the pitch for a start. he is young and so hopefully can have many years ahead of him .
      the next captain must be a player with long term commitment to arsenal, not like vermaelin snide ttemts to push through a move to one of our main rivals , without the balls to admit it .
      some captain .
      per is a great motivator for sure,but i think he is best left to sort out marshaling the defencive side as he does so well now ,
      ramsey would hopefully enjoy being our leader for the lenth of his career. .

  3. u s ayub July 20, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    Perfect replacement Imo, and let the german evolution continue cos the spirit of familiarity will surely help on our course for trophies. I will also like to write for U @subomi cheers to gunners all over the world

  4. littlearty July 20, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    I think Per would be a good Captain, remember how he gave Ozil a dressing down when he ignored the fans he obviously has passion for the club.I also look for that passion and desire from players wishing to join us,if they um and ar as certain potential mid fielders seem to be doing then there comes a point when you say forget it lets move on. I wonder whether Thomas Vermaelen could do a job in midfield, he was one heck of a player when he joined us.He can tackle, head, is mobile, can ping a shot and may relish the challenge and resurrect his career with us,That would also save money for strengthening in other areas.

    • Dave Seager July 20, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

      There is no question AW has considered this option of a CB as DM, Of course he famously converted Manu. However if he felt TV5 could do it he would surely not have tried to sign Vertonghen for that role as the Belgian revealed in a later interview.

    • Subomi July 20, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

      Vermaelen as a DM sounds very reasonable……… on paper.

      Why? Because he can tackle, he’s aggressive, he’s strong however these don’t always make for a good DM. Vermaelen is too attacking for a defender and tends to roam around seeking an adventure into more advanced areas and this is playing at the back but it’s okay because the DM usually covers.

      Giving him more allowance to push forward in midfield would kill us, he’d leave a massive hole in front of the back 4 and his lack of passing range or technical skill would see him lose the ball often whilst being out of position. He lacks the intelligence and discipline to play in the DM role and I think we’d be better off getting a more specialised player in this role.

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