Leading and Communicating – Does AFC have a gap in that competency?

“At all levels, effectiveness in this area is about showing our pride and passion for service,
communicating purpose and direction with clarity, integrity, and enthusiasm. It’s about championing
difference and external experience, and supporting principles of fairness of opportunity for all. For
leaders, it is about being visible, establishing a strong direction and persuasive future vision;
managing and engaging with people in a straightforward, truthful, and candid way.” (Extracted from: UK Civil Service – Competency Framework – 2012 – 2017- Civil_Service_Competency_Framework.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)

I think that at this stage, the only person that is showing any proficiency in this area is Arteta but then again, he is probably struggling in other areas as the team he is managing is inconsistent in performance and not delivering results or creating value for money…

I am more worried about the pitch though…There are different types of leaders:

  • the quiet ones that lead by example such as Tierney and maybe Odegaard or Saka too. But then, we would benefit from hearing them being louder on the pitch. Make their presence felt to their teammates and opponent so maybe it would be good to unleash them and let them speak up too…
  • The louder and passionate ones but whose performance do not always match their loud mouth like Leno, Luiz and Xhaka for example.
  • …I can go on and on and on..

The point is that we want a few players – one on every line (GK, Defense, Central Mid, Forward line) – that does not only lead by example by being a steady performer but is also not afraid of speaking up.

I cannot see Leno improve and would love to see him go and replaced by a good GK that is not afraid to speak up.

For all his talk, Luiz is just too inconsistent. Holding is still not ready to be the backline boss, Bellerin can’t be that boss either and Gabriel would also need at least another year to hold that role. Can Mari be the one? Maybe…But I think, we just need Tierney to just assume that role. He is clearly captain material.

Xhaka tried but his performances and temper got the best out of him so he can’t be it. I am hoping that Partey will be our leader in midfield as of next year. Otherwise, we ll have to ask ESR to take on that role…

Up front, I think that Auba tried but he is not doing great, is he? Laca could play that role but he is not an automatic starter so let us just for Saka. His understanding of the game is great and he has been playing well since he came into the team. Martinelli also is a fearless and gives his best every time he comes on the pitch.

So let us give power to our promising young players: Tierney, Partey or ESR and Saka and for God’s sake, let us get rid of Leno. What a mistake to have chosen him over Martinez!

Also someone made a point about Guendouzi yesterday. Like him or not like him – the guy has got personality and skills. Can he now channel this and be a good player for us? The jury is out…

So when we are recruiting, we want players with personality and I think we need to look into the EPL for these types of players. Players like Mings, Grealish and Ward-Prowse would be great for example. They don’t hide. If we are going outside the EPL, take players that are not only promising but also demonstrate leadership qualities and are proven leaders and communicators. You want 11 warriors great, we also need at least 4 leaders on the pitch including a captain that brings the team together and can motivate and lead the group…


12 Responses to Leading and Communicating – Does AFC have a gap in that competency?

  1. RockyLives says:

    Good Post RC

    Funnily enough I think Xhaka is a good on-pitch leader, but his performances have been too inconsistent.

    You need your ‘leader’ to be a consistently good player who is an automatic starter when fit. In our current squad the only possibility I see is Tierney, although Partey could grow into the role.

    Luiz and Laca both seem to be popular with the young players and provide elements of leadership, but neither is (or should be) guaranteed a place based on performances.

    I’m old fashioned in that I like the captain to be a defender or a defence-minded MF.

    I can’t believe that, if Auba is with us next season, he will retain the armband. If I was Arteta I would tell him that the club will announce it as being Auba’s decision, saying he wants to concentrate on his goal scoring without the distraction of being skipper.

  2. RC78 says:

    Luiz and Xhaka are vocal enough but their performances do not give them enough credit and also their many errors and red cards…

    Laca is not an automatic starter so…I agree with you the most natural one may be Tierney…

    I also think that the best positions for captains are GK, CB and DM/CM.

  3. RA says:

    Good Post, RC,

    It is difficult to pick out a captain from those available on the pitch, because the other players will all defer to the current captain, poor tho he might be with his performances or his captaincy.

    The most recent captain, prior to Auba, is Xhaka, but his fiery (and rather stupid) reactions leading to yellow and red cards simply rule him out.

    I suppose what we should have asked to start with, is the obvious question — ‘what player qualities make a good captain?

    — A good captain is not a show-off, he needs pride in the job, but also needs to manage his team mates efforts, and their concerns first, while also understanding what constitutes success.

    — He must hold himself and all 10 team members accountable to the manager and the fans.

    — He must be seen to have integrity, and discretion and care about his job and his personal performances

    — He must be aware when team mates have problems on and off the field and try to resolve them.

    — A keen, successful captain must be open to talking to his team mates, and listen when they are concerned to try and resolve problems.

    –A good captain must commit to the manager’s vision for the team, and be decisive in achieving success.

    — A captain must represent the manager on the field of play, and not tolerate dissent with tactics by team mates.

    Relating those attributes to the players we have is not easy.

  4. Gööner In Exile says:

    If we were to look at our existing team although I think Tierney is captain material I don’t think he should be burdened with it, I also think it is hard for players like Saka, Odegaard and ESR to assume the responsibility when again they have older more experienced players around them.

    For that reason the captain needs to be someone with a bit more presence amongst the squad.

    It is perhaps another reason why PEA needs to go, he is the highest paid player and is producing nothing of note as a player or captain, and clearly he has discipline issues in Arteta’s eyes.

    I was actually surprised by Holding on Saturday prior to his injury he had put in steady performances and was calm under pressure but was one of the players who seemed to be leading the defence up the pitch, however that was without Partey in front of him mainly and a better attacking three than on the weekend.

    So if I was to choose a captain from current ranks it would be Holding, but that means in my mind PEA, Luiz, Pepe and William can’t be anywhere near the starting XI.

    Much easier to make him or Tierney captain without the experienced heads as they are more likely to get a response from their teammates and their teammates are more likely to respond to their talk.

    Xhaka actually does a good vocal job with or without the armband.

  5. RC78 says:

    Holding is a good choice indeed. What about Mari?

    Bellerin disappointed in that role. El Neny is not a regular starter…

  6. LBG says:

    Tierney is our future Captain but this squad, until we get rid of half of them, needs to be a recognised player of “status”.
    There are too many currently who would think they were “better than” a talented newcomer who ” hadn’t done it yet”.
    No idea who, in that category, we could afford. Get PV back!

  7. Gööner In Exile says:

    I don’t mind Mari but doesn’t look a regular starter for Mikel but then neither does Holding. I don’t mind Hector being captain but he is probably not vocal enough. I don’t actually believe players have to be experienced to be captains, look at Tony Adams captained Arsenal from 21 (having made his debut 4 years earlier mind).

    Comes down to who are first names on team sheet in a big game with everyone in form. That would probably be Tierney, Xhaka, Partey, Saka, ESR, and Odegaard. So it has to be one of those I guess.

  8. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the post RC, I agree we have a vacuum in leadership now Auba seems to have lost heart in the club. Most of my thoughts have been expressed by others. If we keep playing as we did against pool the position of captain will be a poison chalice.

    I agree we shouldn’t burden one of the younger players … but above them we can’t really see a more senior player who deserves to be a regular starter and who has the respect and presence to lead the team.

    I hate the idea of having several captains depending on selection, but it seems that is the only way to the end of the season. If Partey had reached his full potential and was running games I’d choose him until the summer, but I feel he is still coming to grips with the EPL, and I’m not sure how he is regarded by the other players.

    Tierney has all the attributes and is a future captain, I just feel he could do without it at this stage.
    It’s a problem with no obvious solution.

  9. LBG says:

    So Balogun scores another brace for U23. Start him on Thursday for first half Mikel, and let him show us what he can do. Nothing to lose.

  10. RC78 says:

    La Liga:
    A. Madrid – 66 point
    Barcelona – 65 points
    R. Madrid – 63 points
    9 games to play…how exciting

    Ligue 1:
    Lille – 66 points
    PSG – 63 points
    Monaco – 62 points
    Lyon – 61 points
    7 games to play…how exciting too

    Man City, Bayern Munich, Inter are close to landing the EPL, Bundesliga and Calcio but the other 2 leagues are gonna go down the wire…

  11. RC78 says:

    LBG – I agree. Let us bring Balogun into the fold.

  12. RC78 says:

    New post

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