As usual, Arsenal have lost another non-playing captain as Mikel Arteta has hung up his boots and gone into coaching. The current vice-captian Per Mertesacker looks like he is going to be spending a lot more time on the bench now that Wenger has gained more trust in the Brazilian Gabriel Paulista. So who will be captain next season?
Laurent Koscielny has been rumoured to be a shoe-in for the job, but he is certainly not a shouter and organiser at the back. I remember he said in an article last year when asked if he was a leader on the pitch. He replied: “I think I lead by example on the pitch. The boys also know that if I’m not happy, I will go out at training and put big tackles in!
“They know that I am reserved but that I have a temper! Now and again, I speak out. I recall one big talk since 2010. It was two years ago before the FA Cup semi-final against Wigan. I was out injured so I couldn’t play.
“I told the squad what I was thinking. I wanted to mobilise everybody. I had a message to get through. It came from my heart and it went down well… I think! Even now, we joke about it sometimes. It was in English as well.
“There is no point to talk too much, anyway. It has to be at the right time, for the right thing and the right way too. Sometimes, also, you don’t need to talk. Just a look or a gesture is enough. I’m more like that.”
You see? That is hardly going to motivate the team if he looks at them funny is he? And if the squad are still talking about the one time he did speak out and it was two years ago, then it must be a very unusual occurrence. The problem with Arsenal is that Wenger too often goes for “leaders by example” rather than the shouty types like Tony Adams used to be.
I really think that Wenger will only choose Koscielny for his seniority rather than his leadership skills, which is not what we need at all. Perhaps Granit Xhaka will prove to be the one but he surely can’t make him captain until he has played for us for at least a year.
Is there any crrent player that you would pick in front of Koscielny? Cech perhaps…..