Mikel Arteta No Longer Fits at Arsenal, New Captain is Needed


Mikel Arteta has been the captain at Arsenal since Thomas Vermaelen left, and as is the trend with Arsenal captains, here it is just a year into his reign and it’s come time to reassess our captain situation.

There comes a time when the captain spot has to stop being an honorary role and has to start being someone who can be the center of this team for years to come. Making 32-year old Mikel Arteta the captain in the first place was met with a dull murmur. Sure, he’s got great experience, he’s a veteran, so who better to lead the team? But being 32-years of age, he yet again proved that Arsene Wenger doesn’t take the captaincy of his team seriously.

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The captain in Mikel Arteta’s absence is Per Mertesacker, who is on the verge of being confined to the bench, not unlike Thomas Vermaelen, who no doubt found it tough to captain from the bench.

Arteta has no place on this team anymore, just like Vermaelen. With the emergence of Francis Coquelin, who has more pace, tenacity, skill and is much younger than Arteta, the aging Spaniard has lost his place. Aaron Ramsey demands a constant starting role and that about takes care of all the deep-lying midfield roles available on the team. Jack Wilshere is due back soon and Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil are always starting as well, and that’s in the advanced roles that Arteta would never play.

So what do we do with him?

Rumor has it that Mikel Arteta will be departing Arsenal this summer to go to Real Sociedad in his home country (via Squawka), but Arsene Wenger’s loyalty to his players, particularly his aging players, leads me to question this prospect. 

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Regardless of where Arteta plays next year, it’s time to reassess Arsenal’s captain situation. It’s been extensively covered here who Arsenal’s next captain should be, so I’ll spare the details, but based on you the voter, Aaron Ramsey should be the next captain, and it’s not even close. If you disagree, that’s fine, go vote here and make your voice heard.

The point that I’ll restate is that all the big teams out there have a dominant captain who has learned and grown with the team. Arsenal haven’t had that since Tony Adam, who was captain from 1987-2002. Since then we’ve had seven different captains. I feel like that inconsistency can really upset a team that’s struggling to be a consistent force year after year, which Arsenal is having some trouble doing.

With a new brand of Arsenal football, we need a new captain of Arsenal to serve for an extended period of time and help reinvent what this team is all about. And no, fourth place is not what we’re all about.

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