Does Koscielny have any real competition for the Arsenal captaincy?

As Arsenal waved goodbye to Mikel Arteta at the end of the season, we were also waving goodbye to our captain. Arteta’s retirement now raises the question of which Arsenal star will wear the armband next season with the ambition to lead the team to success.

Arteta took over the captains armband from Thomas Vermaelen in 2014, when the Belgian left the Gunners for Barcelona. Arteta became the 4th Arsenal captain in as many years following on from the departures of Fabregas, Van Persie and Vermaelen and finally seemed to be a player with true leadership qualities and a wealth of experience on the pitch. It was always in the back of our minds however that Arteta would of course be likely to retire fairly soon after he took the captains armband, due to both injures and age. That time has now come and Arsene Wenger will be looking to appoint a new leader going into next season.

A few names have been thrown around and whilst Wilshere seems to be a popular name due to his passion and commitment to Arsenal football club, his reliance to be on the pitch lacks due to injury and so Wenger may not opt for the young Englishman in fear of a repeat of what happened to Arteta. Of course Arteta was injured for the majority of his captaincy at the club and then took up getting his coaching badges meaning he was missing as a captain on the pitch, for the large part of the past two seasons. As a result a number of different captains were named according to the match day squad, a popular candidate being The BFG, Per Mertesacker.

For Mertesacker to then be a favourite to be named as the permanent captain next season therefore would not be a surprise. He has leadership qualities and a commanding voice on the pitch, whilst his ability to read the game is supposedly second to none. However according to the Metro, Mertesacker is unlikely to be named as captain, with Frenchman Laurent Koscielny being the most likely choice for Wenger.

Koscielny joined the club in 2010 and although he seemed to be a rookie buy at first, the French international has developed into one of the best central defenders worldwide. He has a strong voice on the pitch and is sure to take command and control of the players around him, hopefully leading the Gunners to success come the end of the season.

I have always felt that a defender should be made captain in a football club due to their general rough and tough nature and strength in leadership and commanding those in front of them. Defenders, aside from goalkeepers, also arguably get the best view of the game going on in front of them and are therefore able to lead players knowing that they have a good idea of understanding the play occurring in front of them. Koscielny has plenty of years experience with the Gunners and has remained committed to Arsenal despite attracting offers from several top European clubs in his time. Therefore I think Koscielny would be a perfect fit for the next Arsenal man to lead the Gunners out.

Do you think Koscielny should lead the team out next season or is another player a firm favourite to take the armband?

BFG says Arsenal STILL have title chance! Really?

Per Mertesacker is not the type of player to duck a battle or to shirk responsibility, so the Arsenal vice-captain will probably be kicking himself today. The whole team came out after the break not fully switched on but it was the German defender that should have prevented Hull scoring that second goal which nearly led to a rare home defeat for Arsenal.

But Mertesacker has alsdo taken positives from the way the Gunners started the game and the way we have been dominant in almost every game this season without getting the results he thinks we deserved. And this is why our centre back is not giving up on the English Premier League title just yet, as a Sky Sports report reveals.

Mertesacker said, “”We have to take the responsibility for that, to have dropped points again, but what really makes me confident is the way that we play at the moment, because no matter what happens, we just carry on and have great potential, that just has to come out much more,”

He also claims that there is good morale in the Arsenal dressing room as well as frustration. But looking at the table with an 11 point gap between us and Chelsea, is any hope of winning thew title just a pipe dream? Well history tells us that bigger gaps have been made up. When Man City first won it three years ago, they were 10 points behind United with around 10 games to go and won it on goal difference in truly dramatic last minute style.

Football is a funny old game and things can soon change. We have the players but Arsenal need to get on a roll pretty damn quickly and hope that Chelsea and Man City slip up. It is possible, Gooners, just very unlikely. Or am I just being foolishly optimistic?

Arsenal stars to be unleashed against Brazil?

Whereas Mesut Ozil has started all five games for Germany at the World Cup so far, his Arsenal team mates Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski have not been so fortunate. The 29-year old striker, in particular, has been largely a spectator so far, with just 56 minutes of action in two sub appearances.

But Podolski’s World Cup could be about to take off and the Germany international would love to have the chance to go past Rudi Voller and Jurgen Klinsmann in Germany’s all time scoring charts, with the Prince currently tied in third with 47 goals.

With Brazil’s best striker, Neymar, ruled out of the tournament with injury, I expect Joachim Low to go on the offensive and put pressure on their dodgy defence. And Podolski, in a Daily Mail report, has been talking about the pressure of being the host nation, and that Germany are ready to exploit it.

He said, “Brazil have the pressure because they are playing at home.

“If we play against 70,000-80,000 Brazilian fans in the stadium, it’s OK. Every one of us plays away from home in big games. When you play at Tottenham, you are used to this – or in front of 40,000-50,000 at Liverpool as well.

“We were close in 2010 and 2006 and we lost in the semi-final and now I have the feeling we are closer than we were in the last World Cups.

“We have this feeling. We are very close – everybody in the squad. You feel everybody wants it. We have a big opportunity to win the title now. In previous years we have been close but now we want this so much.”

The prolific Gunner could be Germany’s secret weapon against the hosts if Low does decide to go for the throat and losing the pace and skill of Neymar suggests to me that this is the way forward and that Arsenal’s BFG will be back in the side. It would also silence the raucous crowd which Podolski talks about and suit Mesut Ozil’s game as well.

Will the Arsenal trio book their place in the World Cup final?