Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has named Per Mertesacker as their club’s manager for the new season, despite the fact that he will miss the opening five months of the campaign.
Previous captain Mikel Arteta left the club at the end of his contract this summer, before joining Manchester City’s backroom staff as one of Pep Guardiola’s co-assistant coaches.
The Spaniard was installed as captain back in 2014, but went onto make only six Premier League starts in the following two years, which for me questions his influence within the role.
Wenger has now seemingly disregarded the role as a leader on the pitch, by passing the armband onto Per Mertesacker, who not only played a bit-part role for us last season, but is also ruled out for the majority of the playing season.
The German defender can not be questioned when it comes to experience or passion, but one CAN question why a player who is likely to only play a possible third of our season, who is in his last year of his contract would be selected to lead the team.
The fact of the matter is, no captain has stayed in the role for more than three years since Tony Adams retired in 2002, although nobody could question the following captains of Patrick Vieira or Thierry Henry.
Mertesacker’s granting of the armband simply tells me that the 31 year-old will be leaving at the end of his contract next summer, especially following the arrival of Rob Holding and the thoroughly expected signing of another centre-back in the coming week.
Wenger’s comments on the matter name Laurent Koscielny, Santi Cazorla and Petr Cech as the players who will pick up the slack for the absent defender.
He said: “Per is a very respected figure in the dressing room, is loved as well and is also a very demanding figure.
“I think it is absolutely natural to be (him).
“(In his absence) that’s where it will be taken by the assistants.
“One of them will be Koscielny, also Cazorla – the experienced players – Cech maybe.
“We will have a group of people that will take care of the energy levels and the problems of the team.
“That will be down a lot to the experienced players.”
Either of Koscielny or Cech would have made more sense, given their key roles and experience, but I suppose them not being named captain means they could stay on with the club for longer!
Who would you have chosen?