So, Martin Odegaard has been confirmed as our new captain. by Dan Smith
The Norwegian has the same role for his country and by all accounts has always been popular in our dressing room.
Yet the decision to give the 23-year-old our armband highlights the lack of leaders we have.
What cost us a place in the top 4 last season was not enough experience to handle the pressure of the run in.
Successive defeats to Palace, Brighton and the Saints and the manner of how we lost at Spurs and Newcastle – Odegaard was unable to alter the group’s mentality then, so why would he now?
This time last year the midfielder was still to agree to a permanent switch from Real Madrid, so it feels a shame that our skipper doesn’t really have any connection to our club.
Vieira and Henry spent years learning about the ethos of the badge by observing Tony Adams. They passed on those values to Fabregas, then Van Persie.
These were names who had been in North London for a long time or were given the honour as a prop to entice our best player not to leave us. Odegaard is neither, he has zero connection to the Gunners.
We used to have a core group who as teenagers grew into men at the Emirates like Wilshere, Ramsey, the Ox, Walcott, etc, so you knew we had representation who understood the principles of Arsenal.
We do have Gunners born in the UK who would have grown up being taught how big an institution we are and therefore the pressure it takes to wear the shirt.
Tierney has the personality for the role but doesn’t stay fit long enough, Ben White might not play every week now that Saliba is in the squad.
I thought Ramsdale was the obvious option based on how vocal he is, the influence his presence has given the defence and the fact he will be in the first team every week.
I saw him visibly hurt at the Etihad last campaign but not many times have I seen him instruct his peers or demand standards.
Other captains don’t shout but instead lead by example, think Steven Gerrard.
If you’re honest, how many performances has Odegaard given where you can say he’s taken the initiative and been the difference?
He was invisible when we really needed him last season.
In reality he’s a young man that is yet to match the reputation he’s had since a child, and doesn’t need the added spotlight.
In an environment where Arteta likes to micromanage, I can imagine Odegaard being very polite and cordial and following his bosses’ orders without an alternative opinion.
Is he going to alter the mindset of our locker room? Let’s be honest, that’s what needs to change if we want to return to our previous levels, that’s what needs to improve. In the squeaky bum moments of games and seasons, do we have the mental toughness to get over the line?
Odegaard won’t change that, him being captain is a reflection of how far we have regressed.
Who would you have had as captain?
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