I know that Arsenal already have a captain in Mikel Arteta and I hope to see the Spanish midfielder back on the pitch as soon as possible. And after recent reports suggest that Arsene Wenger had already signed him up to a contract extension, the 32-year old is likely to keep the armband for a little longer.
The question of who will eventually take over the honour has been debated before and there are a number of candidates, but I think that there is definitely a new name on the list, that of Francis Coquelin. I am not trying to jump the gun or put pressure on our young Frenchman but as long as he continues to play as he has been doing this season, Coquelin has become a fantastic addition to the first team.
He has also started to act like a captain on the pitch, shouting at and organising his team mates more than even Mathieu Flamini had been doing. And despite his youth and relative inexperience in the Premier League and with the senior Arsenal team, Coquelin has no qualms about taking the responsibility, as an Arsenal.com report shows, if he feels that any of the stars around him need a talking to.
He said, “If it needs to be said, I’m the one saying it. Everyone can tell everyone off so that’s a good thing.
“Everyone’s fighting for each other and the team spirit is good so everyone can say what they think.
“With every player we’ve got going forward, you need someone with a defensive mindset as well.
“If I can give the team a good balance – because we’ve got quite a few players going forward – hopefully we can get back to keeping more clean sheets soon.
“I always had confidence in myself so I knew I could do big things. Arsenal is a big club with quality players and when you get a chance you have to take it and show what you can do.
“It took a bit of time for me but in the end I got my chance and now I’m just trying to do my best for the team.”
He probably needs to add a bit of finesse to his game, a bit more of what Arteta is good at if you like, but at just 23-years old he has a lot to learn and a lot of time in which to do it. So maybe at the end of next season Coquelin will have the extra experience and maturity to wear the armband for the Gunners just as his fellow countryman Patrick Vieira did in the same playing position to such great effect. What do you think?