The open letter to past Captains by Emmanuel yesterday, gave me the inspiration for today’s blog. I have sat down and done some real soul searching of my recollection of some of the worst and best games played by the Arsenal in recent times. One big criticism has been that we lack a leader on the pitch. William Gallas is very vocal, but sometimes it appears that he is saying more during the warm up when such speeches should in my opinion have been given in the dressing room. I defended William Gallas after the Birmingham game and Eduardo’s injury, but is there really anyone out there who supports him carrying the captains armband next season.
- Gallas is a spent force Harsh I accept, but given the goals (Villa apart) that have gone in when he was within two yards of the attacker, I think that I can comfortably state that he is one of the players least likely still to be playing for the Arsenal next season. He is inconsistent in defensive terms and certainly if the rumours are to be believed, he does not carry the dressing room with him. We cannot afford to have another season of supposed factionalism.
- Gallas has failed to lead by example. One of the endearing sights of the Tony Adams was to see how he made sure that all those around him bust a gut to raise their games, adding to that his timely headed goals, he was THE Mr ARSENAL. Paddy Vieira did likewise and when the midfield was getting away from us, he would entwine his long legs around the oppo’s lead man in midfield and regain possession when he had no right to do so. He would then drive forward into the attack and set up a chance.
- Gallas is part of the problem. Overpaid and less motivated, all those who recall the post match huddles, which disappeared as swiftly as the dolly that was thrown from the pram nestling in the back of his Mercedes McClaren sportscar, when he failed to get his own way. He was very good in helping to console bacary Sagna following the loss of his brother, and I understand that he has been very supportive of the injured players and takes his charity role very seriously, but increasingly when things do not go well for the team, he goes missing.
- Fabregas is not up to it. I am really going to be provocative here. I really have had my eyes opened by the Villa display. Ok, Fabregas has a real point of dissent in the fact that Arsene Wenger failed to assisted his efforts with an experienced or world class player. But surely the point should be made internally. Don’t get me wrong I am one of Fabs biggest fans, but if his faltering levels of performance have something to do with a possible move out of the club, then he must not be made captain under any circumstances. Paddy Vieira would never have jumped out of a tackle such as the one that allowed the Villa player to launch the ball down field for Agbonlahor to score.
- Clichy delivers when others fail. One of the most important roles of a captain is to try and lift heads by example when things are not going well. I have yet to see a game where Clichy gives up, even if he has the misfortune to miss a tackle or head in an own goal. He nevers gives up, and tries to apply himself still further. He played in 37 of the 38 games last season, so in terms of always being selected, there would be no problem about that. I accept that his age is against him, but if next season’s squad is going to be comprised of 16 to 19 year olds, then he is old enough by comparison.
So over to you guys, what are your thoughts about this. It may seem premature given that we are not yet halfway through the season, but in International Week, it helps to discuss something other than the last game ad nauseam.
Fabregas the King.
***ARSENALINSIDER USMANOV SHAREWATCH***
In a staggering flurry of trades on Plus markets, Usmanov has acquired 149 shares in 4 weeks raising the price of shares in Arsenal Holdings to £8,125 per share. He now needs around 50 shares before he is able to announce his 25% holding. At the current rate of Gooners selling their shares to Red and White, he will comfortably have this before Christmas. But Arsenalinsider’s Fabregas the King will continue monitoring the sales. If there seems to be a desire to increase the shares above what Red and White Holdings claimed was their final total, you will be the first to know. So expect a triumphant press release from Red and White in the next three weeks.