In the event that Laurent Koscielny departs Arsenal this summer, or even if he does not, who should step into the void and become the next Arsenal captain?
Talksport has run an article asking that same question by nominating six candidates, they are Granit Xhaka, Sokratis, Alexandre Lacazette, Nacho Monreal, Bernd Leno and Hector Bellerin.
Now, I am surprised that Mesut Ozil is not included in that list and know his inclusion in any shortlist would be controversial but I will come back to him shortly.
As for the six candidates I personally would eliminate three straight off the bat, the defenders, at no stage last season did I see anything from any of them that resembled leadership.
None of them stepped up to the plate when it was going so wrong and I see no reason why it would be any different next season.
That said, it is unfair to include Bellerin in that because he was out injured but he has never struck me as captain material anyway. That is just a personal feeling, he simply does not look or act like a leader.
Granit Xhaka, what can I say, I am not even sure he will still be at the club after the transfer window but let’s assume that he is, what did he do in midfield when the chips were down last season because I never saw anything, never saw him rallying the team, never saw him screaming instructions, he seems to be too, what’s the word? nice.
That leaves Leno and Lacazette, now I know that Lacazette will have his supporters but in my opinion, that would be more about his performances and passion than actual leadership qualities, put it this way, if he was not as effective in front of the goal would he even be considered for the role, I am not so sure.
I would not rule Lacazette out but of the six I do feel that Leno is the best suited.
Some of the great teams in history have been lead by keepers and in fact, last years world cup winners France was lead by a keeper, we do not need to name him.
Goalies by their nature need to be vocal and he is positioned perfectly to get the message to the weakest point in the team, the defence.
So, from those six I would say Leno with maybe Xhaka just behind if he does stay at the club but he would need to toughen up, maybe the captain’s role would give him that confidence.
That now leaves Ozil as I mentioned earlier, so listen me out on this one before you ask am I mad.
Most on this website will know I am not a fan of the German and want him gone, I believe he is an utter waste of space but and it is a big but, give him the captaincy role and we may just get a different attitude from him.
We know he has the talent but it is his attitude and inconsistency that lets him down, he may just be a different player with his chest puffed out if he is given a vote of confidence and more responsibility.
If we cannot offload him what are we going to with him? we can isolate him, leave him on the bench, demote him to the reserves and so on but what would that really achieve?
Bringing him to the fold and making hi part of the decision making may have an effect on him that has been missing from his game.
I am not saying we should give him the captains armband but I do think it is worth consideration.
All said and done though, Leno would be my choice.