Arsene Wenger should RECONSIDER his selection of Arsenal’s NEW MAIN MAN, and hand over the honour to this German

To those recently departed; Oh Captain, My Captain.

Thomas Vermaelen, Per Mertesacker

This piece was originally run back in June, but now it’s been confirmed that another Arsenal captain has upped sticks and crept off to join Arselona, I thought I would update it.

“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 overdramatic, but you catch my drift. Since Big Tone held the role, the armband hasn’t pulled at the heart strings of the owner enough to lead them to stay and fight for the cause and hold the position in the esteem it deserves.

The Captains Log:

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TONY ADAMS: 1988 – 2002

After taking over from Kenny Sansom in 1988, Tony became the most successful captain in the club’s history.

As captain, he won the league title four times (1988/89, 1990/91, 1997/98 & 2001/02), the FA Cup three times (1993, 1998 & 2002), the League Cup in 1993, the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1994 and obviously two doubles in 98 & 02.

He spent a total of 22 years at the club, with 14 of them as captain. Tony epitomised what a loyal captain should be and since this point no one has lived up to that benchmark.

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PATRICK VIEIRA: 2002 – 2005

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 and his uncompromising attitude on the pitch, provided the inspiration to players and 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 2003, 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 Roberto Mancini’s ‘chief scout’ and advising Middle Eastlands on which Arsenal player to poach next.

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THIERRY HENRY: 2005 – 2007

With no obvious choice, Arsene Wenger 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 and then followed Patrick’s lead, deserting the post and hopped on the Barca bandwagon to chase glory.

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WILLIAM GALLAS: 2007 – 2008

Probably the worst choice for captain. Upon Thierry’s departure, Billy criticised the club’s managerial policies and 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 and 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 and not surprisingly, didn’t add any trophies during his tenure.

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CESC FABREGAS: 2008 – 2011

Another case of ‘best player, best captain’, Cesc took over the reins. His remit to attempt to heal the hurt caused by Gallas and lead to young Arsenal side to greater heights.

CF4 lead Arsenal to the Champions League semi-final in 2009 and 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 and the season crumbled from there on in.

Then, as now seems the norm, a big money move (again, to Barça) came along and on August 15th 2011 Arsenal were without their captain once more.

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ROBIN VAN PERSIE: 2011 – 2012

Arsene followed his adopted policy and passed the mantle onto RvP, to again gel the club and lead us onto to glory. His task to reunite the team after Cesc and 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 and in the process picked up the Premier League Golden Boot, PFA and Writers’ Player of the Season, but again this did not lead to team glory. A creditable third spot was the eventual outcome, following the ignominy of 7 points from our first 7 games and the disaster against Brand United.

But, again, as momentum seemed to be growing and optimism for next season was at a high, another captain drops another bombshell and on July 4th 2012 Robin declared his ‘Independence Day’ and announced he would not be signing a new contract at Arsenal before eventually buggering off to Brand United.

Thomas Vermaelen, Mikel Arteta

THOMAS VERMAELEN: 2012 – 2014

And now, after picking up Arsenals first trophy in 9 years, The Verminator has followed Henry and Cesc on the well-trodden path from Arsenal to Arselona.

In six 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 obviously been tough sitting on the bench, earning £80k a week (!) but he decreed he didn’t believe in the armband enough and decided not to stay and fight to regain his form and his place.

And so now we are left with a big choice. Wenger has chosen Mikel Arteta and, even though he has picked up a trophy in his week at work, he could be another non-playing captain come September.

So I believe Arsene should reconsider, for in my eyes, there is really only one candidate….

Per Mertesacker

The BFG

When the opportunity has arisen he has shown Tony-esque qualities in his leadership and he not scared to bawl out anyone on the team who doesn’t pull their weight,  world class superstar or not and (I believe) he will stay, fight for the privilege to wear the armband and see the job through to the upcoming trophy haul.

The BFG, My Captain, Oh Captain.

Steve Wellman

3 Responses to Arsene Wenger should RECONSIDER his selection of Arsenal’s NEW MAIN MAN, and hand over the honour to this German

  1. The Real Gooner August 13, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    Surely the captain should be someone who’s name, subject to fitness, is first one down in the team sheet and if that’s Arteta then shoot me now!

  2. arse August 13, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

    couldn’t agree more !

    arteta may have good infuence on and off the pitch, but his form in last season was worrying, he was struggling to stay with the pace of the game, especially in those big games where there would be high pressure and counter-attacking play from our opponents…

    maybe giving him badge is just a way of keeping him happy and fighting for the place in the team while Wenger will buy carvalho/bender, hopefully, i’ll be very worried if we don’t sign a DM,,,

  3. Mike August 13, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

    The selection of Gallas, Fabregas, RVP, and Vermalen, had merits at the time it happened. Gallas was a senior and proven figure; fabregas was an outstanding talent and the team was going to be built around him; RVP was a big star in the team and capable of uniting the locker-room momentarily; Vermalen had proved to be a good player and had pledged loyalty to the club by signing a contract when players were agitating for a move. Judging events in hindsight is foolhardy but nevertheless, a very popular preoccupation.
    It is very important to realize that only the staff and the team understand the dynamics of the lockerroom. There is informational imbalance in that, Wenger has all the information, and you only have tidbits that act as a foundation for speculation. You are entitled to speculate on who would make the best captain, but I rest easy knowing that the person with the best information made the call. We have not had a Tony Adams, but we made due with what we had. Viva capitan Arteta!

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