A lot has been said and written recently about Arsenal’s next manager despite the fact that Arsene Wenger’s contract does not expire for 2 more years. On the other hand nobody seems to be worried about the fact that our current captain’s contract ends this summer and given Arteta’s age it is unlikely that he will be offered a new deal.
So why isn’t anybody even slightly bothered? Is it because the role of the captaincy has been diminished to the point that they only act as a go between the team and the referees on match days? Long gone are the days when a captain was an inspirational figure, rather than merely performing ceremonial duties. And often not even that – our previous captain Thomas Vermaelen who by default should be at the very heart of the team, instead sat on the bench when the team fought for the long awaited trophy last season.
We all had a good laugh at the despicable John Terry dressing up for trophy presentations or at pikey Roy Keane and simple minded Stevie Me, but correct me if I am wrong those 3 are true captains representing their team, taking responsibility on the pitch and leading others by example.
Looking back at our greatest captains, I wonder how much influence did they have on the team, the way we played and behaved? Eddie Hapgood led his team to 3 league and 2 FA cup wins. Joe Mercer delivered 2 League and one FA cup trophies. Frank McLintock 3 cups including European Fairs Cup in 1970 and finally the Great Tony Adams with 9 trophies in 3 competitions!!
None of us need reminding that we sold 5 of our captains in the last 8 years and we only won 1 trophy in those years. The same players, except for Patrick Vieira, were talismatic characters rather than true leaders. It might be even true that Thiery Henry, Cesc Fabregas and van Persie were only offered the armband in an attempt to stop them from defecting. Who knows?
Was PV4 our last great true skipper? Are our current problems spinning directly from the lack of true leader amongst the players?
Written by Eddie