What are the qualities that you should look for in a captain, and have Arsenal chosen the wrong man to replace Robin van Persie? I am not saying that Thomas Vermaelen is not a good player and a good example to the others, I just wonder if Arsene Wenger has missed a trick. When things are going well, a captain’s job is pretty easy, you just have to play well and be likeable.
It is when things get tough and the team needs some help that the true qualities of a captain are needed. Arsenal need help at the minute. Things are not going our way, and we need a leader on the pitch, not just to shout at the other players but to inspire them and lead by example. Vermaelen seems to have crumples along with the Arsenal performances over the last two games, maybe he is really feeling the pressure, but his co`defender, Laurent Koscielny, has fought against the odds all his career. He knows what it is like to take knocks and get up to fight again, because his path to the Premier league and international football has been a long, hard struggle.
“You have some young players that you know will become very good, and some who take a different road, like me, Olivier Giroud, and Franck Ribery.
“There are a lot of players who did not play in academies when we were younger. It is better for us because we passed through difficult situations and this makes us stronger now.”
Arsenal are currently going through one of the most difficult situations that Gooners can remember in recent history. We thought it was bad at the start of last season, culminating in the pasting we received at Old Trafford, but this season is worse. It’s time to roll the sleeves up and get pour hands dirty, at least until results start to improve, and Koscielny has been doing that since he began his career at the French side Guincamp and found himself playing in the French third division.
“Life is strange. Maybe tomorrow I won’t be able to play, because I am injured, so I live every day at 100 percent.
“I am happy to be a professional footballer, to play in a big stadium with a big atmosphere against very good players.
“I can’t say that I’m tired, that I don’t want to run and want to stay at home, it’s not possible. I have a great passion for football, and every time I am on the pitch I give 100 percent.”
Of course, Arsenal want the best quality players, but sometimes players can have all the talent in the world but the attitude is not there, thins have been too easy. For a long time now, Arsenal have been accused of being all flair and no steel. It seemed as if that had changed at the start of the season, but we have been slipping back into the bad old ways. It wouldn’t be a bad thing if more of our players had some of Koscielny’s never say die attitude.