With the exit of Thomas Vermaelen, Arsene Wenger has confirmed Mikel Arteta is his club captain for the season with Per Mertesacker the No2. But is it the right choice long term?
Mikel Arteta, who has been with the club for three seasons, was the current vice captain but did lead the team out for majority of the 2013-14 season. He is one of the most experienced players in the squad and was a senior member at Everton prior to moving to north London.
The Spaniard was an obvious choice on some levels, but at 33-years-old and with his deal set to expire next summer it appears he will not have a long term future at the club.
The big consideration was whether Per Mertesacker should be given the armband outright. The BFG is another vital member of the side and has been known for his leadership on and off the field. The Gunners Fines Master joined in the same transfer window as Arteta and has captained the side from time to time.
The 28-year-old centre back will be with Arsene Wenger’s side for another few seasons at least and represents a longer term option. He has warmed the hearts of many Arsenal fans by wearing his love for the club on his sleeve. Blasting Mesut Ozil last season for not visiting the traveling fans in the disappointing City was a particular highlight.
Although it makes sense for Arteta to be handed the captaincy for the upcoming season, my choice was still the Sack. He will be a first team regular for a number of seasons, is a natural leader and an inspiration to everyone in the squad. The World Cup winner is a fantastic example as a professional footballer and is something of a cult hero among many Gooners.
At the end of the day both are natural leaders on the pitch and it’s essentially a figurehead position with a number of experienced members in and around the squad. But our tendency to churn through the club captains is perhaps not the healthiest.
Do you think Mertesacker should have been handed the armband? Or are you pleased Arteta has been handed the honours?