New season, new captain. Well, the Tony-Adams-where-art-thou insecurity hits all Arsenal fans from time to time. However, it is also true that Arsenal have had a few decent captains in spite them not sticking around for long!
Mikel Arteta, who retired from the game as player and joined Pep Gurdiola’s brigade at Manchester City, has been succeeded by last year’s vice captain Per Mertesacker, who led the Arsenal side as captain in most games last season.
Skysports confirmed sometime ago that the former German international Per Mertesacker who joined Arsenal in 2011 from Werder Bremen, has been given the captaincy role by Arsene Wenger despite the veteran defender being out till at least the New Year with injury.
Mertesacker is currently sidelined with a knee injury, and in this time, newly appointed vice captains Laurent Koscielny and Santi Cazorla will be expected to lead the Arsenal in all games domestically and in Europe. First choice keeper Petr Cech might also be expected to in some capacity lead the side given the wealth of premier league experience he has at his disposal.
Skysports has also quoted Wenger saying that in this context ,Wenger had this to say on handing the captaincy to the towering German:
“Per is a very respected figure in the dressing room, is loved as well, and is also a very demanding figure,”
“I think it is absolutely natural to be him. In his absence, that’s where it will be taken by the assistants. One of them will be Koscielny, also Cazorla and Cech maybe – the experienced players.”
It does not come as a surprise that Mertesacker should take over as the club’s captain, provided that he has in actual fact featured most consistently for the first team over the last 5 seasons that he has been at Arsenal. He has averaged approximately 29 premier league seasons every game, commanding and organizing Arsenal’s defensive line.
As Wenger has repeatedly said, Mertesacker is an influential figure in Arsenal’s dressing room, one that everyone possibly looks up to, and one that keeps the energy of the team high. Each year, Wenger looks to his senior statesmen to keep the team going, mentally and physically.
It is expected that Koscielny, Cech Cazorla, along with Mertesacker and perhaps Nacho Monreal will all play an important role on and off the pitch.
Per Mertesacker, is undoubtedly a great choice for captain, provided that he has already led the team previously even as a third choice captain, in the absence of former Arsenal skipper Thomas Vermaelen and then vice captain Mikel Arteta.