Do Arsenal really have any leaders on the pitch?

Mertesacker justarsenalThere have been many comments over the last few years that Arsenal simply don’t have any leaders on the pitch, someone who can take the game by the scruff of the neck and cajole the players into fighting for every ball when we go a goal down, a Tony Adams for example…

We seemed to have the same problem against Stoke last week, and Wenger was directly asked if his team lacked any leadership like that and he replied: “We have many leaders,”

“The modern life has created maybe a bit less natural leadership because more players are better informed and have a bigger knowledge of the game so everybody contributes.

“It is less centralised on one or two persons. But of course at the moment, I would say Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are the captains with Petr Cech so the natural responsibility goes to them.”

They may be the oldest three players in the squad, but we can hardly call our so-called captain Per Mertesacker a leader on the pitch as he hardly ever plays. Laurent Koscielny has said in the past that he prefers to lead by example rather than shout at his team-mates, and our revered goalkeeper can hardly lead a comeback from between the sticks.

So do Arsenal still need that fiery personality to take control of the players during games? Maybe Jack?



  1. Simon says says:

    I personally think it’s hard to define what a leader means to a team, to lead I don’t think you necessarily have to shout. I think what maybe the team does lack is steel and I don’t mean a player built like a heavyweight boxer with the height of a basketball ball player. We lack a player(s) who are determined to not concede early, who let one goal,two goals even away from home in Europe and say “no more, we’ll take them in the home leg”. So in my honest opinion we actually lack the tactical awareness and grit to dig in, to realise you can’t always win playing well. Wenger’s best teams that sadly (and for one reason or another) he is unable to replicate had that ability in their souls,they all had it. We may have 3 leaders but have no winners.

  2. Mudassir says:

    How about leader on the touch line? we don’t have that either.

    1. ArseOverTit says:

      Or in terms of club owner. What an example Stan is..

      Leaders lead by example after all..

  3. Yossarian says:

    For some time now Arsenal have been “Led” by captains that either had one foot out-of-the-door, or were no longer in the physical condition to play regularly. That really hasn’t helped with on-pitch leadership.

    If the club didn’t lie to people about their “Ambition” (And actually showed some instead) and Wenger stopped putting all this faith in players that are clearly not physically up-to-it anymore then this would cease to be a problem.

    Also if Wenger ditched his habit of blindly accommodating his favourites, and selected players based on form and on-pitch results, then leaders would emerge and he’d be able to manage the squad much more effectively.

    1. Yossarian says:

      Oh yeah… And played people in their best positons, and stuck to those positions.

  4. Ivan says:

    Real leaders inspire confidence in others when the chips are down. We saw last season that did not happen indeed you saw the opposite with players looking shellshocked and not willing to run for each other and nobody aside from Alexis seemed to have any fight.
    Wenger was very lucky to inherit so many (Winterburn, Adams, Bould and Keown when he took over Arsenal and they in turn inspired Viera and Henry. Sadly when they all retired/were transferred we have seen the team go through alarming slumps every season for more than ten years. I thought Arteta was a reasonable leader as is the BFG but aside from them AW has not felt a need to get any others in. Until he does the eam will continue to have the usual mid-winter blues tht stop us competing for the title.

  5. ruelando says:

    I consider Mert to be a leader, but in case of Mert we need leaders to be on the field of play all the time, not just a few games, we need leaders who have the respect of all their teammates, not just a few, we need leaders to point out team mates errors and state how it can be corrected, we need leaders who give a rallying to lift the team and get us going.

    Sadly the only player i would be afraid of in a dark or a well lit Alley would be Kolasinac and that is how teams look at us a bunch of (soft)pretty boys who try to play fancy, who think that it is a thousand passes win games and not goals.

    1. Waal2waal says:

      yes mertesacker is a leader, totally agree.

  6. Ronny says:

    The photo of per at the top was after the game when ozil wouldn’t clap the fans yes?
    Good to pull him up on it bit too late once we’ve lost.
    Yes we need a vocal leader for half time berating, on pitch organising,(someone to tell Ramsey to stay where he’s meant to be). Etc.
    If you look at John Terry Gerrard abd others sometimes it’s just a clap of the hands and eye contact or hands down gesturing slow and calm down. Sanchez does it all the time and he’s branded a trouble maker but I think it’s the way he does it.
    Jacks got sead will have it, xhaka would in time if his game improves.
    I do believe the player that instructs needs to be on it himself to be leading others.

  7. gorin says:

    we need a commanding leader on the pitch, one who can charge players. as our manager always sits unless we concede a goal.

    1. COYG_CA says:

      We need it all:
      Leader on the pitch
      Leader on the touchline
      Leader in the office
      Leader at the top

  8. Waal2waal says:

    mertesacker is arsenal’s field marshall we were 1/2 way up Sh** creek without a paddle before he came to the clubs rescue. he was purchased at that time when we leaked so many goals it was not a comedy of errors. and although we have had more lapses in concentration in defence mertesacker is a defender with merit, an arsenal fan and worthy leader.

    and with so many different languages spoken in our team, i underatand bfg is able to comunicate in 3 or 4 languages. although not the fastest he is a great reader of the game. on top of everything he deflects lots of pressure aimed his way by some disgruntled and very demanding fans.

    *when he hangs up his boots he can hold his head high he’s given us loyal service at a time when being loyal among players is quickly going out of fashion.

    1. Waal2waal says:

      correction – ‘….it was a comedy of errors’ ….

  9. Andy says:

    All I ever see Arsene do is complain to the 4th official. When was the last time you actually saw him commanding the troups with a bit of pointing and shouting of tactics?
    And Bouldy, bless him, sits on the bench like a mannequin chewing gum nodding and agreeing with whatever Mr W says (much like Pat Rice did) Just as Arsene likes in fact.

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