Ever since Thierry Henry left Arsenal at the end of the 2006-07 season the club have found it difficult to find a proper captain who could lead the team from the front with the exception of Fabregas who lead the team for almost 3 seasons, but even in his case it wasn’t easy as he was regularly linked with a move to Barcelona through out the spell. Our last long-term Premier League captain who lasted for more than 5 seasons was Tony Adams (1992-2002).
Since Henry left we have had 7 different captains namely William Gallas (2007-08), Kolo Toure (part-time captain, 2007-09), Cesc Fabregas (2008-11), Robin Van Persie (2011-12), Thomas Vermaelen (2012-14), Mikel Arteta (2013-14 part-time & 2014-15 full-time) and Per Mertesacker (part-time captain, 2013-15). Teams like Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool have had home-grown players as their long term skippers for a good number of years now. Players like Steven Gerrard (2003-15 as Liverpool captain), Gary Neville (2005-11 as Manchester United captain), John Terry (2004-present as Chelsea captain) have set an example as to how a captain should lead his team from the front.
Among the top seven teams of the 2014-15 season only Spurs seem to have troubles in choosing a new captain apart from us. Even Southampton have found a good leader in the form of Jose Fonte. Without deciding on who should be the club’s next long-term captain it would be difficult for Wenger to set his tactics straight for next season.
The Possible Candidates
Generally most club captains come from defence or midfield and looking at Wenger’s choice of captains over the past few seasons, a striker becoming a captain is out of question. At present Mikel Arteta is our club captain but with Coquelin and a new defensive midfielder in sight, it’s likely that one of them will take over reigns from him it is good enough to conclude that we will have a new captain for the 2015-16 season.
Per Mertesacker (30, Germany), our vice-captain looks set to succeed Arteta but let us look at other possible captaincy options we have:
Laurent Koscielny: This 29-year old French CB along with Per has formed the core of our defensive wall for atleast two full seasons now and he even has age by his side. Top European clubs like Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, PSG and Barcelona were interested in signing him not very long ago. He has evolved as a calm and composed defender over the last few years. He has now stayed at Arsenal for five full seasons and has become one of our most important players in our quest for the PL title next season. So why not hand over the captain’s armband to Kos the Boss?
Jack Wilshere: This Englishman is touted to become the next big thing in English football. Many football pundits even tout him to become the next National team and club captain. But few others think it may be too early to hand over the captain’s armband to him but when you see that players like Gerrard and Terry who were successful captains for Liverpool and Chelsea respectively had been given the captain’s armband at an early age. Jack Wilshere is a product of our own academy and he is a fan favorite as well. So why not hand over the auspicious honour of captaincy to our very own Jacky boy?
Aaron Ramsey: Another captaincy candidate who falls under the homegrown category is our very own Aaron Ramsey. This 24-year old Welsh central midfielder has captained the Wales National football team in the past which comes as an added advantage. He is slowly becoming a goal scoring midfielder like Premier League greats Gerrard and Lampard. Ramsey also has good rapport with most of his teammates and is close to becoming an absolute fan favorite. So why not hand over the captain’s armband to the Flying Welshman?
But the choice has to be made by Wenger and we the Arsenal fans hope that he takes the right decision.