Henry Winter tweet highlights one of the biggest problems at Arsenal

Henry Winter is one of the most respected British journalists, he does not do clickbait and rarely gets involved in transfer gossip, he mainly reports on the England national football team and is well respected by most journalists.

Winter was responding to a tweet about signings in the Stan Kroenke era and in doing so he highlighted a massive problem that still exists ar Arsenal despite the brilliant Nicolas Pepe signing.

Now, whether you like or dislike Winter is not the issue here, it is what he has tweeted that I am focussing on and I will say straight up that I agree with his comments.

At the same time, I will not criticise the owner, not after the changes he has made and not following a club-record signing.

But we cannot ignore the lack of leadership on the pitch, in fact, the Arsenal captain is currently on strike. I mean, you cannot make it up.

Is there a player in the squad with the attributes of a Vieira or Adams? I do not think so.

I doubt that Granit Xhaka is the leader we seek or even Alexandre Lacazette and until we do find that leader we will be hampered, I do not think many will disagree with that.

I feel the time is now to sign a player that is captain material, that has those leadership qualities currently lacking in the squad.

Who that would be, I do not know but it is certainly a role that needs filling.


  1. Leadership on/off the pitch has been a massive problem for years. We seem to have sorted our issues off the pitch, but when will we get it right on match days? Having 4/5 captains is a joke. Even Ozil was a captain last season, despite having zero captaincy skills.

    Football has changed over the years, pretty much mirroring society, which has become overly sensitive. So to some extent, we have to accept we’ll never again see captains of old like Keane, Terry, Adams, etc, leading with fear, aggression, and reprimanding team mates on the pitch. That being said, Arsenal over the years have gone to the other extreme of becoming so soft, that opponents knew they could easily rough us up. Before kickoff, we were always in trouble because of that.

    Under Emery we have become more aggressive which I like, and we’re not so much of a pushover physically, but he needs to address the captain issue. We need a captain, a vice captain, and that’s it! At the moment, I would pick Laca, and Sokratis for these roles.

    1. I second Lacazette, with Sokratis as second choice when Laca doesn’t play. As for the third choice when neither plays,… I don’t know, maybe Monreal, but he may not play regularly himself. Holding when he becomes fit, perhaps, though he doesn’t seem sufficiently dominant.

  2. I think football has revolved past leader of a thing, a good team/player doesnt need to be told what to do.
    Thats my personal assumption though.
    Playing as a unit is the ultimate. There was a time we had almost 6 national team captain in our team and still we were not performing well.
    The basic is making people responsible, this are not teanagers. I think that was why UE chose 5captain last season, but if i have to chose, my captain will be sokra/Torreira/Leno

    1. Excellent post about national team captains.

      Yes, we have an issue of Arsenal club culture being too soft on players as a whole. The traditional captain role might be insufficient for a our deficiencies.

    2. I completely agree, we are way past that. Everything is done by manager from formation to telling players what to do on the field. Plus manager being on touch line is barking instructions all the time as well. You need only captain for the toss now a days lol!. So I guess we need some one in team to work on individual mental strength of players n keep them motivated….

  3. The only player who could have those qualities, and who we need, is Lewis Dunk. He is going to be Brighton captain and could prove to be a good leader. He doesn’t faff, has a good sense of certainty and he genuinely knows how to defend.

    1. Lewis Dunk is one of the most hyped English CBs last season and it would be another great statement if Arsenal purchase him. However, we can’t select a new guy as a leader

      The captain must be a senior player that is a first choice, has consistent good forms and has been playing with his teammates for at least three seasons. Ideally the captain is a CB or a GK that can see the situations better in the back and able to enforce his manager’s instructions/ tactics

      Had Monreal always played, he would be the first choice, but his playing time would be limited once Tierney comes. Therefore I predict Sokratis would be the captain, if Xhaka is unavailable or replaced by Willock/ Ceballos

        1. That is the WHOLE truth! In this modern snowflake generation REAL captains are as rare as hens teeth anywhere. Proper captains had toughness and were real men . The likes of Pogba who has skippered United are egos on legs with an overblown self love and no real idea of leadership. Sadly, that is common among todays super rich player generation. I despair of EVER again getting a proper “ballsy” captain. They are almost extinct, mores the pity! When you remember that such pansies as Walcott and Ozil have worn the captains armband, it is time to despair!

          1. Jon-you really do come across as a very bitter old man.So you don’t like Ozil.We all know that.Yet you seem unable to allow any Topic Headline to pass without your comments returning to Ozil.For someone who regularly informs us how wise you are,how educated you are,how you correct posters on their grammar every bit as much as their content,to me your rants are those of a senile old fool.That is not meant as an insult.Its just a fact.For someone with your football knowledge and “supposed” love of Arsenal you come across as just a very bitter and foolish old man.
            Just saying-and I don’t suppose this will pass the censors but I’m not insulting you merely letting you know how you come across

  4. Reminds me of William Gallas,Capt in Arsenal vs Birmingham 2008 when Arsenal conceded a penalty in the last minute.The captain went and sat of the half way line as the penalty was being taken.

    1. ROFL..hahaha!

      We definately need a strong leader at the back and that is where the captain should be. Shouting and organising. Xhaka is no leader. He’s in trouble too much although, it may be a good thing? Shows grit and determination. His tendency to lose the ball and plot makes it difficult to see him as captain. Beyond him, I would find it equally difficult to find a good option for the captain role. We don’t have natural leaders. Maybe Lacazette?

      1. As we are not privelaged to have an insight in to what goes on behind closed doors, it’s hard to call this one
        If you look at the top teams they seem to all have a strong leader…orgainiser. not necessary the best player on the pitch but a player who can rally the team. Organise ect
        We haven’t had one of those for years and before some of you say the boss was our captain then I would totally disagree..
        I agree on laca. Seems to have the qualities we as fans looks for in a captain but maybe UE is not looking for that
        Well. Descent transfer period for us and hopefully not over yet…has given us all hope for this coming season ..onwards and upwards

        1. A.ball08,a good assessment of the qualities required of a good captain. ?
          I agree with Winter that Arsenal has been lacking on field leadership for many seasons. I had hopes for Xhaka, as captain of his previous club and Switzerland; however he has let me down badly.
          Of the present squad, my vote would be for Lacazette.

  5. We need fighters with character. We need mentality. With guys like Laca and Auba, Gendouzie and Luca and even Sokrates we have gained some guys with a strong mentality.

    I am a big football fan and watch many games but could not really tell you who is the leader of City or Pool. Who is the Lampard or Chelsea?

    Teams have a winning mentality or attitude or lack thereof. But one player does little these days.

    Eriksson is one of Spurs most important players but is he a leader?

    For me you lead by the wat you play. Laca plays with attitude as does Luca and Gendouzie.

    (We do need defenders with skills because Mustafi and Sokrates don’t have enough of them)

    1. Sip
      Being a fighter is a good quality but you need to have so many other qualities to make you a great leader
      Someone to keep every one on the same page
      Some one to put an an arm around you when you are down. A boot up the rear when you are slacking
      Giving out a bollocking and also praising
      These guys are are far and few between now days
      I like lace but also like holding but he is injured for now
      Like I said previously we dont have an insight to what goes on behind closed doors and we really dont know what these players character are like
      Bearing in mind this guys are only human and have flaws just like us all of us

      1. I don’t disagree with the qualities you like to see in a leader. I just think the days of the Roy Kean’s and Patrick Vieira’s and maybe Frank Lampard’s seem to be behind us.

        In my opinion, we lacked players with fighting spirit as much as we lacked leaders. Our teams were easily pushed off the ball and taken out of the game by being physical with them.

        At the beginning of last season, I saw a more determined and more physical Arsenal. This faded somewhat during the second half of the season but an improvement was made.

        Like I said, to me teams like Pool or City don’t really have outright leaders but as a team, they are fighters and are determined to win every game.

        We need the mentality back that winning is a must at all cost. Wenger sometimes stated that playing the way you prefer is more important than winning and I think this attitude crept into the DNA of the squad.

        I rather have a team with 11 fighters than with 3 leaders.

        1. If only we could have another veria
          JT.Roy kean that would be so good.
          It’s funny how all us fans know what we have been lacking for all these years and the people running the club have fudged it.
          I feel quite buoyant for this coming season and with 1 or 2 additional in the right areas then top 4 will be within our grasp.. how the mighty have fallen and we are now happy with top 4..baby steps I suppose for now

        2. Before anyone starts accusing me of dragging up the past again I would like to bring up the past.1986-87 season.
          The Club has just appointed George Graham as manager in the close season.The Board wanted an Arsenal man in to manage the Club and GG had proved his credentials at Milwall.George brought next to nobody that season.He sold Tony Woodcock and played the Youth players coming through.TA was already captain and only slightly older but GG wanted that hunger and desire from his young players.Thomas Rocastle Merson Hayes all America through.We won the Littlewoods (now Carabao) Cup that season and in no small part from the youngsters.Anyone who was at Shite Fart Lane for the semi final replay will know what the players did that night.It was all about desire.All about winning no matter the situation.THAT is the type of desire we need back at the Club.
          GG knew the youth players were brought up with the Arsenal traditions.Lets hope these new ones coming through have that desire and commitment

          1. Phil On here I am replying to your previous post above(not the one immediately above this reply), where there was not a reply option. Firstly , you are wrong about me correcting others grammar. Had you bothered to read my many posts accurately you would see how often I say that mere grammar is not that important and clarity of thought, NOT spelling/ grammar, is all that matters. I am not and never have been a language snob. One lie busted therefore!

            I read most of your posts carefully and have taken careful note of the times of late that you yourself say he needs to step up this season. Your comments lately are far less in thrall to him than they were earlier. You are clearly softening on his being the “God” you have many times claimed he is in the past. IN OTHER WORDS YOU KNOW,PHIL, THAT YOU ARE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THIS DEBATE BUT HAVE NOT THE GUTS TO ADMIT IT STRAIGHT OUT, SO ARE GRADUALLY TRYING TO CHANGE THE ARGUMENT, IN A CUNNING AND SLY WAY, KNOWING THAT HE IS LETTING US DOWN. That is what I notice, but I have no doubt you will flatly deny this, even in part to yourself. I suggest we do not repLy to each others posts, at least until passion on both our sides has cooled a bit. I respect your years and knowledge as an Arsenal fan and much else besides. But this Ozil thing is preventing us having common ground on far more important Arsenal matters on which we are clearly as one(Iwobi for instance!) In a year or two,hopefully sooner, Ozil will be no longer here. Until then I will suffer his laziness, as will the majority of other Gooners on here who consistently agree with my own view. IF YOU STICK, IN PUBLIC , TO YOUR HARDLINE PUBLIC VIEW – RATHER EARLIER NOWADAYS – OF HIM BEING OUR CURRENT STAR MIDFIELDER, YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF FURTHER AND FURTHER MARGINALISED WITH GOONERS ON HERE. HAVE TO GUTS TO PUBLICLY ADMIT HE IS NOW NOT THE PLAYER YOU ONCE THOUGHT HIM. I AM CONVINCED THAT YOU DO IN FACT NOW THINK THIS BUT ONLY PRIVATELY. Merely being preferable to ” no end product” Iwobi, is hardly an endorsemant by UE either.

          2. Gentleman
            I do like reading both your posts. Always make it a point to look out for your comments as well as a few other names.
            My grammar is poor. My thoughts are usually jumbled up by the time I have put it down in writing
            Dont stop the passion. It may be wrong in someone’s eyes but right in someone else’s.
            At the end of the day we all strieve for the same thing we just have different opinon on how to get there. In time we will be there and during that time there will be more lows as well as highs
            Sadness and frustration as well as joy and jubilation
            We are one tribe one team
            Onwards and upwards

  6. There is still time to buy another CB

    Apart from the overpriced Maguire and Dunk, there are Keane from Everton and Tarkowski from Burnley. Both are English, hence there shouldn’t be any problem with adaptation and they are both proven in EPL

    Tarkowski’s defending stats in 2018/2019 look slightly better than Keane’s, but Keane is more dominant in the air and made less fouls. Keane vs Tarkowski:

    – Goals scored: 1 vs 3 (Tarkowski won)
    – Goals conceded: 39 vs 63 (Keane won)
    – Blocks: 22 vs 56 (Tarkowski won)
    – Interceptions: 43 vs 42 (Similar)
    – Tackles: 41 vs 71 (Tarkowski won)
    – Tackles won: 25 vs 36 (Tarkowski won)
    – Aerial battles won: 192 vs 169 (Keane won)
    – Errors leading to goal: 1 vs 1 (Tie)
    – Yellow cards: 2 vs 8 (Keane won)
    – Fouls: 22 vs 35 (Keane won)

  7. In the summer the scouts must be the captain. They must find the players we need.
    On the training ground the coach must be the captain.
    Making sure the players know what their job is and how to do it.
    When Auba is in on goal with just the keeper to beat Auba must be the captain. Just score.
    When Ozil has the ball he is the captain. Make a pass which advances the attack.
    When the ball is pumped into the box toward Mustafi he is the capatain. Clear the line.
    Don’t worry about any one else.
    If every one does their job then we don’t actually need a captain

  8. Guys just read that the deal to bring tierney to the emirate is stalling because of a mere 2m difference. We want to pay 18m upfront celtic are holding out 20m. Here is what celtic are demanding

    20m upfront this year, 5m in five years instalment, 1m for any year arsenal qualify for uefa CL for the 5years(duration of its contract) and 15% sell of fee incase we sell him the future.
    and here i am thinking you could just installment to the table and wham you get your player. Little did i know that the selling club must agree to the instalment plan on their own terms.

  9. there should be a stock market based on ‘comments against football clubs’

    I would short negative comments against arsenal, I would probably end up with enough returns to make a hostile bid to buy arsenal!!!

  10. The owners, coach,Edu..all said they were after very good players which means expensive,so if you can’t get your primary targets we should go for average players just to appease the fans,I disagree especially when we have Cab’s we can’t get rid of! what about the wage bill,in Holding, Chambers we have players who in my mind will do a better job that Mustaphi who is wanted by Monaco but wants to stay, next year we will have salliba,at the moment vwe have about 6 CB,s,it doesn’t make financial sense and the club are still trying to keep koss,the only we should buy a new one is if Mustafi or koss go, also Emery is after an international Italian defender from Juventus on a 2 years loan,you know a squad is 25 players,do you want to pay players who won’t play? you’re talking about finances but want to waste money??

  11. Agree with Winger. And Emery is doing this silly thing of having 3 captains again. It doesn’t work.

  12. What worries me is that Emery doesn’t seem to be bothered about having a stand out leader,he likes five captains none of which have proven to be a standout leader on the pitch,even kos is not a commanding presence, and the fact that he wants so many captains would seem to me to indicate that he likes to rotate a lot so there is no point in having a commanding presence as he wouldn’t play every week anyway.

  13. Jon-no reply button below your recent post so you find my reply down here.
    Show me one instance where I have EVER stated that Ozil was playing consistently well last season.You will not find one.Why?Because I never once wrote that.I continually stated Ozil was the best footballer at the Club,which in my opinion he is.That is why you you come across as a senile old fool.You make up remarks that are a distortion of the true facts.
    You are saying I told lies.Why on earth di you believe I would need to lie to someone like you?Please do not rate yourself so highly because I can assure you I certainly don’t.
    You have labelled both Ozil and Walcott as Pansies.Trust me when I say they will both not lose a seconds sleep over your rants.Which is the same as myself.Anyone who disagrees with your comments are subjected to your rants.Most are either happy to let it go because they either can’t or won’t get dragged into your assaults on them should they so date.Im not like them .You do not phase me at all.In fact your pathetic reactions are becoming a source of amusement.
    You continually contradict yourself but do not ever have the intelligence to answer what are seemingly simple questions.By your own reckoning Emery should have been sacked for continually selecting Ozil.Yet surprise surprise you cannot agree to this despite it being so glaringly obvious.As I said,the rankings of a senile old fool

  14. How some of your comments get past the censor is beyond me. I see some unprintable words being used to describe other supporters. “fool”, “senile”…wtf!

    1. I think you will find that Phil and Lord Jon have many lively discussions on here, although they do occassionally get a bit close to the mark!

      1. “close to the mark”? I would think” off the mark”. But if the parties involved and admin says it’s fine, then it’s cool.

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