Now this is an interesting question, and will probably spark a bit of debate as I have often heard on JustArsenal that we have usually lacked a player that can grab the others and galvanize them into action, especially when the Gunners heads fall after going behind.
We all know Mikel Arteta is our captain, although practically Per Mertesacker usually wears the armband on the pitch in Mikel’s absence. I do believe that Arteta is going to be a good coach and maybe manager, but I would call him more of a calm instructive man than someone who shouts at his team-mates to get them going. Per Mertesacker doesn’t really have the presence or respect, I am thinking, although he collects the players fines if they are late for training. Neither of them could get anywhere near winning a shouting match with Tony Adams or Patrick Vieira!
Laurent Koscielny has already admitted that he doesn’t talk much on the pitch, and prefers to lead by example. Perhaps the closest to a real captain we have is Petr Cech, but although he can marshall the defence, can he influence the players all over the pitch? Gabriel doesn’t speak enough English but could be the answer as captain one day, and Bellerin is far too young. Not only that but he’s moving too fast for anyone to catch what he’s saying!
Arsene Wenger was asked who Arsenal’s leaders were, and he couldn’t give a straight answer. He wants ALL the players to be leaders! He said: “It is important,”
“You want all 11 players to be leaders and to take initiative, communicate and transmit to other players what they see on the pitch. You want them to motivate the other players and be constructive and positive. That’s what it’s about in the leadership action.”
It was a different response from Le Prof when he was asked who “made the team tick” and he gave a far more detailed reply. “Basically it’s always the players who play in the final third and give the assists.” he said.
“So you look at the players who give our assists and you will see who does it. I think the best assist player at the moment is Ozil, but we have many providers.
“We have Alexis, Ramsey, Cazorla – they are all people who can create chances. You could see Joel Campbell the other night has given a great assist to Alexis. I think all our players have technical ability to do that.”
Yes I agree with him that they can be influential by providing assists, but there are none of them I would consider vocal enough to be called a leader in the real sense….
Come on then. Who do YOU think are our leaders on the pitch? If any?