Thursday, August 18

My Captain My Captain

By @15yearoldgooner

Robin van Persie has been handed the captaincy, and Thomas Vermaelen shall ‘assist’ him, according to Arsene. A good move? Well, the question I’m asking is: does it actually have a huge effect on the team?

Personally, I reckon that, in this case anyway, it has more of an effect on the individual player made captain - and in some situations the player not made captain. Luckily in our case there was no major candidate who would be justifiably miffed when RVP was made captain. In the past, Kolo Toure and others have been upset by missing out on the captaincy to a possibly less loyal player, and that’s affected our players negatively.

I think the theory that the captaincy has more of an individual effect holds some weight with Arsenal especially. In the past, seemingly want away players have been handed the armband – Patrick Vieira, Cesc Fabregas and Thierry Henry spring to mind – as a sweetener. And you can see Arsene’s thinking behind it; it seems that he too is a believer in the theory I’m talking about, because it looks like recently he’s chosen the captain whose individual effect will help the team the most.

It sounds complicated but it’s really not. By choosing players who might be tempted away – usually our best player at the time – he manages to secure a little while longer out of them. Whether that’s because they feel the responsibility is too much to run away from, or whether they feel like they’d be letting even more people down, I’m not sure, but it seems to work either way.

Now we have a forward as our captain, and some say it won’t work very well, and that we should have appointed Vermaelen. Fair enough, I thought that a few months ago, but what I’ve come round to is thus. While van Persie will take on the official role of captain, I think Vermaelen will be a captain just without an armband or any off-pitch duties. For all intents and purposes, he’ll be the captain of the defence.

If you have a leader in your team, you’d want him to lead regardless of whether he’s captain – that’s something that makes a good leader, you can do it with or without a strip of cloth.

Van Persie, on the other hand, was once a truant youngster who would often act out and irresponsibly. This coronation of sorts has crowned his maturation into a respected and respectful footballer who is now at the pinnacle of his club’s playing staff. I’m proud to call him our captain.

I think the armband will help him keep a cool head whenever he’s tempted to go crazy, and it strengthens the bond between him and the fans. The captaincy has reaffirmed his status at the club as the leading player, although hopefully the others won’t be far behind.


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