With the imminent arrival of Petr Cech (via Sky Sports), who comes with a wealth of experience in both domestic and European competitions, I ask the question who will be our next more permanent skipper? It’s great to get a leader into our squad of this calibre, but are his ties still too closely associated with our biggest rival to give him such an honour so soon?
The captain should be the pinnacle of any side, and over the years it has often been our captain who has lifted the team when most needed. Examples would be Tony Adams, Theirry Henry, Patrick Vieira, and Cesc Fabregas to name but a few. Even when Robin van Persie was captain, he was our talisman and led us to a top 4 finish single handedly in the two seasons prior to his departure.
Mikel Arteta as club captain has done ok, and Thomas Vermaelen before him did similarly, but I am not sure now we should be picking players that are not guaranteed starters when everyone is fit to have such an important role.
But who do we have that you would be confident can take up that mantle? I think we have a serious lack of options, and even though I wouldn’t be overly happy having the ex-Chelsea man captaining us from the beginning of the season, I think that he would be the most natural choice given his experience and that he’d be a guaranteed starter.
Per Mertasacker did not have his most convincing season last year and was no where near the level of his previous campaign. Who is to say he will even be so assured of his position next term? Laurent Koscielny is our best centre-half but he is quite quiet. You will very rarely see him berating or encouraging other players and he focuses a lot on his own game. Jack Wilshere would be a great candidate if he could stay fit, but history suggests he can’t. Mesut Özil is not a captain character and Alexis Sanchez can barely speak English.
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Therefore, at this stage we have only three real candidates that could fill the void, and even then they don’t necessarily seem like ideal skippers. The first option is Cazorla; this guy is just magic. He should be one of the first names on the teamsheet each week, but is he a leader? I am not so sure.
Aaron Ramsey is also a possibility, and he was slowly getting back to his best toward the tail end of last season. The Welshman is an all round midfielder, and I think he can potentially lift the side. Failing those two, I believe it would have to be Petr Cech.
It’s possible Francis Coquelin could be considered, but he has only recently established himself in the side. He is incredibly vocal as well, and based on his performances from the moment he rejoined the side against West Ham at Christmas last year he has looked our most natural leader.
Saying all this, I would expect if he stays next season that Arteta will remain as ‘club’ captain, and for the honour to be passed to certain players based on the starting line up. I would rather have someone more set in stone however, who we can rely on to be there for a while.
Let me know who you think it should be.