Who should be Arsenal captain next season?

There seems to be a feeling amongst Arsenal fans that we haven’t had a truly great captain since Vieira. Henry, Gallas, Cesc. Some fine players there. But apparently not great captains. Two seasons ago we seemed to have solved that problem, but the manner of his* departure must also bring into doubt his leadership qualities. (* He who shall not be named)

TV captain

That left Thomas Vermaelen to take over the armband. He was a popular, and seemingly natural choice at the time. His steely eyed look of determination, his all action style, very visible fist pumping and gesturing to his teammates, seemed to suggest he was made of the same stuff as the stereotypically great captains that we remember. (Yes, I do have issues with typecasting a certain type of attitude as being the sign of a captain.)

But Vermaelen never recovered his form, and eventually lost his place in the starting 11 as well. Can anyone argue that he should start ahead of Koscielny and Mertesacker? Which actually begs the question, will he leave? Should Arsenal let him go?

Arteta captain

Assuming Vermaelen stays, should he retain the armband? Does a captain have to be a regular starter? If so, who is to be the new captain? The stories from last season suggest that Mikel Arteta was in fact the real leader of the group. Arteta had a fantastic season, changing his game tremendously to adapt to a new role, because that is what the team needed him to do. His statistics last season were brilliant, as was his attitude. So, should he just formally take over what he seemed to be doing informally anyway?(After all, you don’t need the armband to lead)

I would say yes, but there is a risk that Vermaelen will feel undermined. Also, if TV is precluded from being captain due to not being a starter, what about rumours of Arsenal bidding for Fellaini or Bender? What will that mean for Arteta, especially in light of his age?

Sagna captain

Who else could be captain? In my view Sagna could stake a real claim, despite his poor form last season. However, his contract having only one year to run might mean he should be overlooked. Another player who could get a shout as captain would be Per Mertesacker. He’s the organizer in defense, and seems to make his defensive partners better. He’s also already an authority figure of sorts at the club as he’s responsible for collecting fines from the players. A 2 metre tall defensive stalwart would suit many people’s idea of an Arsenal captain, even if he is German.

Mertesacker captain

Of course if it were to be down to popularity amongst the fans, then I think a certain Jack Wilshere would be installed as captain. As far as I’m concerned though, the only thing in his favour would be the (relatively assured) long term continuity in captain, which would be lacking in Arteta, Sagna, and maybe even Vermaelen’s case. For the rest, I think he’s still too young (and a little reckless). He should concentrate on getting his fitness, and then his place back. He has a long future ahead of him and there’s no need to rush to make him captain, especially when there are better candidates for the role.

Jack captain

So who would you vote for as Arsenal captain? (Bonus. Who should be vice captain?)

Written by Shard

88 Responses to Who should be Arsenal captain next season?

  1. samwel says:

    Captain Jack can be assisted by Mikel

  2. Red Arse says:

    I voted ‘Other’, but there was no way of saying who he is; so can I name names and say my pick would be none of the named options, and go instead for; CAZORLA.

    He is a class act for others to look up to. He has the experience in what many see as the best league in the world (La Liga) as well as the EPL. He has commitment and determination to succeed and most importantly of all — with that cheeky grin of his, he has the chutzpah to carry it off, with Refs and players alike! πŸ™‚

    What’s not to like? πŸ™‚

  3. Aussie Jack says:


  4. mickydidit89 says:

    Thank you Shard.

    This post highlights a real dilemma. I’ve always been convinced that Arsene is in the β€œWe have eleven leaders on the pitch” camp, whereas I imagine the players would have been terrified of not putting in the 100% effort knowing that in the dressing room they would have to face a Tone or a Paddy.

    This is the toughest of Polls.
    Bac: not shouty, fist clenching, teeth gnashing enough.
    Arteta: A bit part player with new defensive mid signing?
    Mert: definite candidate
    Jack: Injuries to conquer.
    Verm: I have a feeling a comeback to form is on the cards. So possible

    For me, The Skipper needs to be a starter, so I’m with RA:

    Vote Santi, or “Other” as he is known.

  5. Igboman says:


  6. ilori oluwafemi says:

    Arsenal should leave vermanlen to remain as a captain, he still have a lot to offer, he can get back to form as time goes on, it happen to vidic at man united and still remain as captain, by retaining him as captain will even help him get his form back faster.

  7. Chris says:

    It’s not like cricket is it. It’s not as if the captain’s making any meaningful decisions on the pitch. What you want is a leader by example – so, go for Jack.

  8. mickydidit89 says:

    Good point Ilori.

    Chris. I think Jack is nailed on Captain in the long run, just not quite yet.

  9. alex juma says:

    Arteta had a fantastic ending he should continue to prolong his chain of winning. Martesacker can deputy him he scares his opponents wherever theres corner ball

  10. Keith says:

    Arteta captain / vice captain Wilshire

  11. Mikel assisted by Jack

  12. I want vermiline to be the captain

  13. aliu ademola says:

    Arteta is an experience player, who has the ability to cover the field. He also has all the quality to be required dribbling, distribution of passes and attempt of firing net.
    Moreover, he is a discipline player. Arteta is a type that can bring changes, most especially his first season in Arsenal was very superb especially against Man-city. He did well and deserve it! Up Goonez!

  14. Manthan says:

    I would go for Jack reason is he is young and he is with us from age of 9(correct if i am wrong). We need someone like him or second option would be make arteta captain and jack as VC so whenever arteta will not play jack can captain and gain experience and after two years make promote jack to captain.

  15. Manthan says:

    Btw great article Shard you won’t believe actually i myself was thinking of writing the same kind of article πŸ™‚

  16. dayor oginni says:

    D nxt captain nxt seaon should b SUPER JACK nd assisted by SANTI CAZORLA

  17. ben says:

    I think mikel arteta is the best to be captian in Arsenal next season

  18. Shellykeen says:

    At least for this season let it remain with TV5, and make ur final decision at the end of the season,i think.

  19. Moses tom says:

    Jack wilshere

  20. he is hombble player

  21. If we were basing our decision as Captain on on field performances I would have no hesitation seeing BFG, Kozzer or Arteta get the armband, all led by example in the run in, and like others have said it is clear to see that BFG and Arteta were leading the team last season, and keeping their heads screwed on. Koscielny’s performances were by their nature that of a captain but due to the way he plays i think the armband on regular occasion would be a step too far, as it turned out to be for TV5.

    What is important is that those around the Captain listen and improve as a result of playing alongside them, Ramsey and Gibbs i think both benefited from a bit more experience around them and helping them, Jenkinson would be equally helped as would Jack and Ox.

  22. Big Raddy says:

    I voted for TV to remain as Captain, because I believe that club captain does not have to be an automatic starter. Furthermore, TV will surely be pushed forward next season. He has the skills, vision and power to be a great DM, though whether he has the tactical discipline is open to question.

    Long-term, I don’t see Wilshire as AFC captain but do think Ramsey is a cert should his form kick-on.

  23. RockyLives says:

    Big Per for me. A great defender and a natural leader. Arteta a close second.

  24. ΨͺΩˆΩ…Ψ§Ψ³ روزیسکی
    tomas rosicky must be Arsenal captain!

  25. Warren says:

    Interesting. No mention of Koscielny. Solid defender. Was also quick to quash any rumors of his departure this summer. True team player for me.

  26. Koscielny – hero, just needs a goal against those slimy scummers and everyone will realise what a top Gunner he is.

  27. Apologies for the small snippet of BSR in that video 😦

  28. TT says:

    Great article, Shard. I feel bad for Vermaelen, but if he’s at all the man we hope him to be, he’d understand the change. Mertesacker for me.

    By the way, did anyone notice how tan the CEO is now? Could hardly recognize him. http://www.arsenal.com/assets/_files/scaled/315×500/jul_13/zp_173396217DP003_Arsenal_FC_M_3718.jpg

  29. Shard says:

    Apologies to those that feel aggrieved at the names of Cazorla and Koscielny not being mentioned. This was a very hastily put together piece (and it shows) but the idea was just to get a discussion started. Honestly though, I don’t believe Koscielny and Cazorla are captain material. They play well, with great desire, but somehow I don’t see them as being natural leaders.

    I am sympathetic to the view that we should keep Vermaelen as captain, because as someone said, the club captain doesn’t have to be an automatic starter. The leader does what’s bestfor the team, and at this stage, it is for him to sit out. And he’s done that without complaint and still shows commitment to the cause.

    However, another cliche is that you don’t need the armband to lead. And I think Arteta proved that last season. As a result, I think the armband should follow and he should be made captain, while Per Mertesacker should be vice captain.

    I remain unconvinced of Wilshere being captain material too. And as I said, I think he has to earn his place back in the team before anything else, and I hope the competition is tougher than ever.

  30. Shard says:

    Been a really busy time here since getting back from the UK. So haven’t been online much in the past week.

    I believe you, but he who hesitates is lost πŸ™‚

    Maybe he’s been chasing after all the players on their holidays at various beaches around the world. πŸ˜€

  31. amoscp says:

    the captain need to be in the starting line-up almost all the time. by the end of preseason, we would see fpr ourselves.

    but how would you feel if you are vermaleen and you were demoted?

  32. mickydidit89 says:

    I think Our Verm already knows what demotion feels like πŸ™‚
    Mind you, I’ve got him inked in as “most improved player” for 2013-4.

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    “he who hesitates is lost”
    You’re still reading the Eastern Philosophy nonsense, aren’t you πŸ™‚
    Incidentally, I visualized to the max before making my selection πŸ™‚

  34. mickydidit89 says:

    Or….β€œhe who hesitates is lost”… no he’s not, he’s merely paused for a moment to check the GPS on his phone to ensure he knows precisely where he is πŸ™‚

  35. LB says:

    Congrats Shard on coming up with such a good Friday post.

  36. mickydidit89 says:

    Blimey, England have had a better day in the cricket.

  37. Joe says:

    I went for the status que why fix something that’s not broke.

  38. LB says:

    I think mid-fielders make the best captains and for that reason I went for Arteta with Per being a whisker away.

    No, I’m changing my mind. The thing is I don’t expect Arteta to play as big a role as he has done in the last two seasons. I think this season his age will start to show and he will start to struggle with the physical demands of the EPL.

    Most of us agree that the heir apparent is Ramsey and I fully expect him to start taking on some of Arteta’s load.

    So, Per because I think it is important that the captain is thought of as an automatic starter.

  39. Gooner In Exile says:

    There is something about the way Mertesacker has conducted himself which makes me think he is an ideal captain. He has quietly gone about winning the Arsenal fans over with consistent displays. He can be seen organising those around him on the pitch more than any other. He also appears to be the centre point for congratulations at full time whistles between the defenders when we’ve kept a clean one.

    I like him a lot, in fact I’d go as far as to say I love him.

    He is the reason TV5 cannot remain our Captain, if Per is leading the defence how can the Captain be another defender?

  40. Gooner In Exile says:

    I know Suarez is a good player but I don’t want him anywhere near our club. Wengers response when questioned about him today said something about secrecy and confidentiality in transfer matters being very important.

  41. RockyLives says:

    I’d be delighted to have him GiE – a classic case for Wenger redemption and a phenomenal striker.

  42. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rocky redemption from biting an opponent? I’m not sure there is any?

    To my mind players can have a personal life on the edge, but on the pitch wearing our colours, there has to be a line.

    Lets play what if?

    What if we sign him for Β£30m, then he decides to bite BSR when we play ManUre, and the media scrum ensues…..what then, how much does our Β£30m player walk out the door for to get away from “the British media”?

  43. RockyLives says:

    What if he scores 30 goals in the EPL for us next season?

    I suspect he will not repeat that particular type of misdemeanour.

  44. OMGArsenal says:

    Nobody has mentioned a criterion that seems essential: the ability to communicate in adequate English? I know that Spanish is helpful but apparently Wenger coaches and motivates his team mostly in English as Bould certainly does and since it is the lingua franca of Football in the EPL,Cazorla’s lack of English is a handicap. Arteta speaks good English, Per and Vermaelen as well, Sagna is less fluent but Wilshere is obviously the best.

  45. chas says:

    Cheers, Shard.

    I went for Vermaelen as making anybody new the captain always seems to disturb their equilibrium.
    The side seemed to be better off once the club captain was on the bench and a more collective team spirit came to the fore. Eleven captains on the pitch!

    However, Arteta knows a lot about what it takes to scrap in the Prem so he can continue to lead by example on the pitch (and say ‘heads’ or ‘tails’). πŸ™‚

  46. chas says:

    “Daniel Crowley also known as Dan or Danny Crowley signed for Arsenal this afternoon on 01/06/2013, his transfer is on a youth transfer and will only cost the club in terms of compensation to the team Crowley is departing from (Aston Villa) Crowley was sought after by United, City, Chelsea and oddly Juventus as well but has made the choice to sign for Arsenal and as you can tell by the video is exceptional for his age.”

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    “Daniel Crowley also known as Dan or Danny Crowley”

    Why on earth would someone called Daniel end up with nicknames like Dan or Danny. Makes no sense whatsoever.

    You’d think the idiots behind it could have come up with something with a modicum of logic, like oh I dunno…Steve or Trevor

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    Now Chas,

    First up, didn’t “Morning” you as I only just realized those clips were put up this morning not last night.

    Spent an unhealthy amount of yesterday contemplating next season with The Arsenal, and I formulated an opinion. We don’t, in fact, need to sign anyone. Simply too much talent at the club

    Jenks will become 1st choice during the season, with Bac the perfect mentor. Ollie will hit 30, no sweat. Ox…legend and so on.

  49. mickydidit89 says:


    Saw your Hig clip. Seriously clinical and two footed. Sign him up.

    Then, more from Sky:

    1. Reports coming out of Italy claim Roma are close to agreeing a fee with Arsenal for Gervinho.

    2.Reports coming out of Brazil claim Arsenal are interested in signing Atletico Mineiro winger Bernard.
    I mean, a Brazilian left winger called Bernard. Never heard of him. Sign him up this minute.

  50. chas says:

    Apparently Bernard’s name is shortened to Pete.

  51. mickydidit89 says:


    Guess I walked headlong in to that!

  52. chas says:

    So much better for your health if you think we don’t need to sign anyone. You can only be pleasantly surprised then.


  53. mickydidit89 says:

    Why are you showing me that site. Was it the Ad top right?

    “Meet more SINGLES and have fun 24/7”

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    For all those who think we should get our transfer business done early, I say….selfish!

    What on earth would people like me do for the summer? I mean, LB has his Bicycle Race, Rasp his Cricket, and Chas his hot weather clad women to chase around. Me? Nothing.

  55. evonne says:

    poor DidIt 😦 Like I said before, an intelligent person is never bored.

    I just heard something that might interest you Micky – did you know that the French forced an EU declaration announcing that snails are fish !!! ha ha ha, excellent. By the same token you can declare that netball is soccer and watch the netball world competition

  56. mickydidit89 says:


    If there are no snails, then crab are snails πŸ™‚

  57. LB says:

    So the Brazilian team could consist of Fred, Jo and Bernard which might get shortened to Bernie although Steve makes more sense.

    Fred — Jo — Bernie

    Line up for Brazil tonight…….what?

  58. mickydidit89 says:


    Zico, Pele, Steve


  59. Big Raddy says:

    “If there are no snails, then crab are snails”. Brilliant.

    Thanks to evonne are due.

  60. Gooner In Exile says:

    Leather clad women?

  61. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. How did you get a pic of Mrs. Raddy? Outrageous.

  62. mickydidit89 says:


    Evonne and Shard make Confucious sound like not on drugs πŸ™‚

    ffs 😦

  63. Shard says:


    I don’t need to read any Eastern philosophers. I am one of them πŸ™‚

    Besides, He who hesitates is lost sounds much more like a Western philosophy. Eastern philosophy tends to be more reflective and teaches patience and contemplation. Not go out and do this now or you’ll miss out.

    You better work on your visualisation skills and start agreeing with me soon. I also happen to know some Eastern curses πŸ‘Ώ

  64. Wenger to resign.
    No piss off Wenger go when your contract expires, you won’t spend and some of us have think Arsenal need a new manager.
    Sheep hagger πŸ‘β„’

  65. Big Raddy says:

    Shepp. The transfer window closes on Sept 2.


  66. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. I really enjoy your writing style and look forward to more posts over the coming season.

    I guess we have another vote today. “Wee Alex” James is my Number One choice.

  67. Red Arse says:

    wenger’s a parasite never gives always takes

  68. mickydidit89 says:

    My Dear Shard,

    As I said, and upon your sagely advice, I am visualizing everything before me.

    However, re The Eastern Way, it’s a waste of time sitting around and just reflecting beneath shady groves while wearing a dress and ponytail. Whereas going “out and do this now or you’ll miss out” brings results and much happiness πŸ™‚

  69. He’s to laid back BR time for a change
    Now he on about a new contract no please no .
    We need a change
    Shepp hagger

  70. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh, and Shard, re your curse threat. Beware, I know a Witch down the woods, and she’s seriously ugly. Any more threats, and she’ll be broomsticked your way.

  71. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all.

  72. mickydidit89 says:


    Have a chat with Shard about change. I have a feeling he may tell you something about it not necessarily being the path to enlightenment.

    Ok, he’ll wrap it up in gobbledegook, but you’ll get the gist πŸ™‚

  73. Shard says:


    Illusory happiness. Materialistic nonsense. Like trophies πŸ™‚

    Meh. I’m not saying Eastern philosophy is better. Just different, And I enjoy putting you in your place, or at least your mistaken beliefs about the geographical origin of philosophies in their place.

    Your running fear of ponytails probably has some deep seated repressed memory behind it. Or maybe a sense of shame , the cause of which resides in some old photo album?

    You can keep your ugly witches to yourself micky. I much prefer bewitching b****es (I’m gangsta now I guess)

    Well gobbledegook is better than poppycock, so I’ll take it as a compliment.

  74. Shard says:

    Thanks BR.

    You have shown yourself as being much more sensible than micky. πŸ˜€

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    “You have shown yourself as being much more sensible than micky”

    First sensible thing you have said, you fuzzy brained thinker πŸ™‚

    Would love to know where you think my “place” is, as I’ve been searching for years πŸ™‚

  76. mickydidit89 says:

    Right, off out to seize the moment πŸ™‚

    Love you really Shard.

  77. chas says:

    “place”……I’ve a spot reserved for you in cloud cuckoo land, sat alongside me. πŸ˜†

  78. chas says:

    Where’s da poll, Norfolk Canon?

  79. Oooops, thought Rasp was sorting the post but he has cricket problems this morning so I’m just going to have a look………………

    Back in a mo

  80. chas says:

    A bit like the Australians.

  81. Gooner In Exile says:

    Peaches, vote post isn’t there, I’ve been snowed under.

  82. Gooner In Exile says:

    Sheep….who is offering the new contract? Oh the same man that tells us the club want to spend……the problem does not lie at Wengers door.

    Even now with all this money apparently sloshing around it appears the Board are asking Wenger to balance books, hence culling of Youth prospects, potential sale of the Swerve, trying to offload Bendtner, and Cham, and yet we have already culled a number of First Teamers who came to end of their contract. Sold Mannone, loaned Djourou and Coquelin out.

    At least in the last couple of post Emirates moves he has been allowed to spend what he has made, previously it was just sell.

    Look at last summer….sell BSR, sign Pod, Giroud and Cazorla and then all of a sudden Song is sold. Why? To balance the books.

  83. Done it …………………

    New Post

  84. Great, now my comments are disappearing …………try again ……………

    New Post ………………….

  85. It’s a good job I have the controls …………… no idea what’s going on there 😦

    Have a nice day all πŸ˜‰

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