Will this transfer window close on Monday with all the usual moans and groans that we hear year after year about who we should or who we shouldn’t have bought in for this Arsenal team? Champions League qualification now assured after an edgy heart in mouth game against a good side and with Sanchez now off the mark we have a real chance to make hay while the sun shines….
With 4 days or so left of the window we are still pushing round the same noises of areas where we do look light, those being a centre half, a defensive midfielder and even a striker (even more so with the news of Giroud)
Even though I am in agreement with those areas we are short I also see it in a slightly different way. For me the biggest area that needed to be sorted ‘Leadership’. To bring in someone who has the respect of the other members of the team and the fans instantly, someone who regardless of position would be that go to man to build us up when we are wilting in games to get us pumped and that can push us through to get a result. Someone in the ilk to say an Adams, an Henry, a Vieira even a Lehmann and… a Fabregas.
This Arsenal side so desperately lacks leadership and has done for many years it is crazy, and in my opinion we have lacked that certain quality since we initially sold Cesc to Barca, and for me it was our biggest mistake this window allowing him to join the Chavs.
Now I am not one who blames or hates Cesc for either joining his hometown club or for going to Chelsea (even though it makes me sick in that kit), as ultimately any one who has lived away from home will realise that sometimes there is no place like home, and with the Chelsea thing, well it was clear he wanted a return to us, but Arsene declined him that.
Wenger can say that we have no regrets in bringing him back, but I see it another way. Out of all of the transfers so far this summer he was there, ready made, our prodigal son who’ll take up the mantle as a far more mature leader in our side then what he even was when he left, a legend already with the club and fans and someone who would have immediately commanded respect. I think as the season progresses we will realise that we dropped a huge clanger, as he would have fitted straight in to our system and required no bedding in time. I would say its those same fans who said we didn’t need him who are the ones moaning about Jack, Arteta and Ozil’s indifferent form- but it is what it is and we move on.
We had a very interesting year this year as it was a perfect opportunity to bring in a new man to either take over the captaincy or to at least have the opportunity to grow into that role in season or so.
As much as I am pleased with the service on the whole that Arteta has given us in his time at Arsenal it is abundantly clear that his legs have gone, and he is a weak link in a hugely important area of the field.
Even though I thought Wenger would give him some sort of role in the leadership side of our team (as its clear he is held in high regard in the dressing room) I was surprised that he made him captain. This ultimately means he is in the team each week, something that teams are clearly targeting when he plays.
Therefore, now that he is injured we need to look at who do we go to as our next leader on the pitch. The options in my opinion are hugely limited:
Ramsey– who now with a full season and preseason completed looks our version of Frank Lampard, but lets not forget that sections of the fans were on his back the season before last- do we really want to give him that burden also when he is playing so freely.
Mertesacker– Cool. calm and collected but error prone and slow- doesn’t really have that technical ability that you’d require at this level to be captain, however well liked in the team.
Wilshire– been spoken about as a future captain for club and country but again would need to just focus on his own form currently rather than the team too.
So who is there?….. I don’t see it.
Here are the captains for the 3 teams above us last season teams, each one is the epitome of the leader that I would be eluding too:
Therefore regardless of who we buy before Monday (and fingers crossed we do strengthen in the positions mentioned) I hope that we can bring in someone who can show our young side the way forward, someone who has ‘been there done it’, but still has plenty to offer, someone who can communicate to guide the likes of Jack, Ox, Ozil, Chambers and co and put an arm around them when needed and give a kick up the ar5e when needed too.
Please Arsene get us a ‘Leader’….
They are there… we just need to find them