Did Wenger make a mistake in choosing Vermaelen as captain?

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Did Wenger make a mistake in choosing Vermaelen as captain? Empty Did Wenger make a mistake in choosing Vermaelen as captain?

Post by abhinav14 Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:09 am

It seems to be affecting his game
Makes him undroppable
Per-Kos can't be tested
Arteta seems the better choice

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It’s been a rough few days for Belgium international and Arsenal captain, Thomas Vermaelen; an own goal scored - credited to Jefferson Farfan - gave Schalke their equalizer against the Gunners in the Champions League while two calamitous mistakes a few days earlier against Manchester United were the highlight of his game as ex Arsenal captain, Robin van Persie profited off one of the mistakes to score for the table toppers against his former club.

This begs the questions – is Vermaelen really captain material? Can a captain constantly keep making mistakes? Should someone else have been captain such as the current vice-captain, Mikel Arteta?

Many were in favour of Vermaelen succeeding van Persie as Arsenal captain – he was passionate, fierce and very much a leader, being vocal during games. However, he hasn’t emulated these qualities at all this season since becoming the new skipper. And with Arsenal in a poor run of form, the Belgian’s errors and mistakes are even more visible – Vermaelen always made errors, it’s just that because of his ferocity and knack of going forward and scoring goals that fans didn’t see or rather ignored his negative points. He’s a good defender no doubt, but he makes way too many silly errors as well as leaving the defense exposed when he surges forward.

Another con with Vermaelen as captain is the inability to rotate the centre backs – after a while, Arsenal finally have three top class centre backs and yet, only Vermaelen is remaining in the lineup. Per Mertesacker has been immense this season while Laurent Koscielny has unfairly been dropped to the bench, with this, taking a toll on his performances. Koscielny and Mertesacker may be Arsenal’s best potential partnership but no one will never know with Vermaelen as captain – the Frenchman has made a few errors this season as well like Vermaelen, however, with a run of games, he’ll find his consistency, after all, he was Arsenal’s best defender last season. It’s illogical, however, to drop your captain – a captain should be the first name on the team sheet and right now, Vermaelen isn’t the best defender at the club.

Captaincy usually helps up someone’s game – we saw this with van Persie as he relished the responsibility last season but the same cannot be said about Vermaelen. This is especially surprising as Vermaelen captained his previous club, Ajax as well as the Belgian national team for a period of time.

The Daily Mirror’s John Cross echoed the same thoughts: “Thomas Vermaelen has taken on the armband and he’s having a wretched season. Some players grow with the armband; that certainly happened with Robin van Persie with his performance and responsibility, but I think Vermaelen hasn’t shouldered it well. I think Arsène Wenger thought long and hard about giving it to [Mikel] Arteta, who is perhaps the outstanding candidate. He may not look like a loud, bubbly warrior but he’s fantastic on the pitch and really good in the dressing room, and Arsenal don’t have enough players like that.”

Arteta certainly would have been a better candidate – he makes the team tick, is probably the first person on the teamsheet and is valued both by his teammates as well as Wenger. Whenever Arsenal have a bad result, it’s never Vermaelen but always Arteta who comes out and speaks on the result, telling the fans that Arsenal will show character and bounce back. It’s no coincidence that players like Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere judge Arteta as the leader of the team.

At this point, it’s evident that Koscielny must play – will Wenger drop Vermaelen? Or this just a rough patch of form for the Belgian? Either way, performances must improve as this is Arsenal’s worst start to a league season in the Wenger era – Vermaelen should show right now that he is the leader of the team and prove why Wenger chose him to succeed van Persie.

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article by me here: http://www.ibtimes.com/sportsnet/arsenal-news-did-wenger-make-mistake-choosing-vermaelen-captain-864028
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Post by urbaNRoots Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:58 pm

Vermaelen isn't even first team material, let alone captain material. Don't know what was Arsene thinking to be honest. Maybe he's planning to sell him this summer? Chaka
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Post by MJ Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:08 pm

urbaNRoots wrote:Vermaelen isn't even first team material

Not sure if serious or blaspheming hmm

True he's been in bad shape but I think everyone's forgotten what a revelation he was when he came back last year. Also, he and Per together are a very good duo that have only been disrupted since Koscielny has come back. For proof, see our run as the best defense in the EPL before we began to leak goals against the likes of Chelsea and United (not Koscielny's fault but a change in defense in Santos)
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Post by RealGunner Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:09 pm

Heard he offered Sagna the role but he rejected it. Also heard Vermaelen was wanted by Barcelona but Wenger made him stay by making him the captain

not sure how legit those rumors are but Arteta is the only captain i see when i watch Arsenal. Or Mertesacker.

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Post by MJ Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:51 pm

That's a bad sign. Rejecting captaincy and questioning the club's ambition as his contract begins to expire.

I remember seeing Vermaelen looking more fiery last year, showing more passion and actually looking like a leader but as RG said, I only see Arteta doing that now, leading the team through his play and as the players have already said, Arteta is the real leader.
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Post by Wilson37 Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:24 pm

urbaNRoots wrote:Vermaelen isn't even first team material, let alone captain material. Don't know what was Arsene thinking to be honest. Maybe he's planning to sell him this summer? Chaka
no one had any arguments against Vermaelen being captain in the summer.. agree that he is more error prone than other defenders, but he has other qualities of a leader.. so overall he is good and a valuable player to the team..
its very hard to judge him when the team as a whole is going through a poor period of form.. i am sure he will come back strongly...
Arteta is the only other option atm.. I wont trust Sagna unless he signs an extension.. and sleepy Metskr is the last one i want to hear.. Mad
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Post by urbaNRoots Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:23 pm

Please, what qualities as a leader? Being shittier than the other defenders? How is that leading to anything. Vermaelen is carried by other defenders all the time and even that he's surrounded by better partners he still manages to f**k up. He was very good, till he got injured, since then he's getting worse and worse every season.

Also if Arsene offered Sagna the captaincy and he rejected it, does that mean he will leave this summer? Because this looks like the only way of keeping players for one or two more years at Arsenal.
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Post by lenear1030 Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:43 pm

the way he's been playing i dont think the captain curse will apply this season. he hasnt really performed well
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Post by furiouswindbottom Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:38 pm

He's struggling a bit after his injury.

However, he IS the man to be captain.

Ok, he's had 6 or 7 dodgy games but 70 excellent ones.

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Post by Amar Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:47 pm

I believe it was a mistake. He is Captain material no doubt about that, its just Koscielny and Mertesacker are better defenders. Also had we appointed someone like Arteta, who is a bit older, Jack would have gotten the time to mature and get the armband at 25-26

From many interviews we've heard already, Arteta seems to be the clear leader in the dressing room and has the respect of everyone on the team. But remember, it could easily be Arteta in Vermaelen's situation if he goes through a couple rough games, especially considering he's playing a relatively new, unfamiliar role.

However, I think we should wait it out a bit and see if he can recapture his old form.
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Post by Raptorgunner Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:49 pm

RealGunner wrote:Heard he offered Sagna the role but he rejected it. Also heard Vermaelen was wanted by Barcelona but Wenger made him stay by making him the captain

not sure how legit those rumors are but Arteta is the only captain i see when i watch Arsenal. Or Mertesacker.


I dont think Sagna was offered the Armband, he would have gladly taken it. Vermaelen was going to be captain after RVP and we all knew that.

I know we all are questioning TV now but give him time, the whole team is is embarrassing. I know he has had some bad games but I am sure he will be back to his best.

I still believe in Vermaelen, I know there is no lil kid inside of him wanting to leave. Judge him at the end of the season at least.Did Wenger make a mistake in choosing Vermaelen as captain? 757cb964b49cdae309951734d753dd7f
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Post by MJ Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:59 pm

Yeah this is all a bit too soon to judge a captain. We're talking about someone who could potentially be our first long term captain after a plethora of captains abandoning ship so the least we can do is wait more than 10 games for him to play like we know he can.

Also, the whole team has been shite. Let's not scapegoat our captain.
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Post by 6unner Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:47 pm

I would actually like to see some statistics on how much more time we are playing with the ball on our side of the pitch this year.
I think that it is easy to look at the mistakes that TV has made this year and start to blame him. IMO though the ball is on our side of the pitch way to much this year. We are not able to keep possession on the other side of the pitch and are constantly playing back to the GK. If we are going to increase the amount of time the ball is on our side playing defense then we are also going to increase the amount of potential mistakes.

On a side note, I would also not underestimate what it does to our players when we get to a point that it seems as though we only need one or two players and then we sell off our top players and replace them with long our long term injured players or other inferior purchases.

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Post by Eman Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:06 pm

Would people even be asking this if we were winning games? No :coffee:
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Post by EL Patron Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:36 pm

Raptorgunner wrote:
RealGunner wrote:Heard he offered Sagna the role but he rejected it. Also heard Vermaelen was wanted by Barcelona but Wenger made him stay by making him the captain

not sure how legit those rumors are but Arteta is the only captain i see when i watch Arsenal. Or Mertesacker.


I dont think Sagna was offered the Armband, he would have gladly taken it. Vermaelen was going to be captain after RVP and we all knew that.

I know we all are questioning TV now but give him time, the whole team is is embarrassing. I know he has had some bad games but I am sure he will be back to his best.

I still believe in Vermaelen, I know there is no lil kid inside of him wanting to leave. Judge him at the end of the season at least.Did Wenger make a mistake in choosing Vermaelen as captain? 757cb964b49cdae309951734d753dd7f

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if Sagna rejected the armband, great player but he always shirks responsibility.
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Post by SUPERCARTTS Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:14 am

I don't want to seem like im knee jerking, because I'm not.

However, in hindsight making him captain doesn't look like it was the best decision based on his recent form. Initially I was a bit surprised it didn't go to Arteta or Sagna. Moreover, it seems as though Vermaelen was Wenger's natural choice. I say he's given till the new year to sort him form out before we look at alternatives.

Lets not forget that losing your captaincy can effect player morale and that the last thing we want along with a poorly performing player.
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Post by CBarca Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:13 am

He's a great player in some bad form, be patient.

I say the same thing when Barca fans talk about Valdes, I say the same here. He's proven to be a good defender for you guys, and typically looks a natural leader. He does look out of sorts right now, but I think he'll get his act together.

That being said, I think Arteta should be/ should have been your captain. So yes, I guess you could say it was a mistake by Wenger, yes.
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Post by Eman Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:35 am

People can say Arteta should have been captain all day, but he was only here for 1 season before this one, had never been a full-time captain for any team before, and Vermaelen was vice-captain to van Persie anyway. Also, was it really that widely known that Arteta was a real leader in the team before a few months ago when Cazorla mentioned it in an interview? I certainly had never heard of him being quite that influential, even though it was clear he had some definite leadership qualities.

All damn season last year so many people, including many in this section, frequently said how they wished that the Verminator was our captain. Wenger made the logical choice given all of the factors involved, and frankly it's just an armband; if Arteta is a great leader, whether or not he is wearing the armband will not change anything for anyone, other than maybe Vermaelen IF the only reason he isn't playing so well right now is due to a failure to deal with the added responsibility, which is all speculation at this point.

The only logical argument for me as to why making him captain was a bad call is that he isn't as good as Merts and Koscielny, but I'm reserving judgment on this for the time-being. Koscielny hasn't been error free either.
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Post by Twoism Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:33 am

Hindsight is a wonderful thing

Last season, I could doubt TV5 ability ( especially compared to Kozz performance) but never his athleticism, heart/ determination or whatever you call balls nowadays.

Not even Wenger could guess why he turn out to be this depressing walking dead on the field. You could say the captaincy burden got his nerve but who knows, Aterta might be the same. Yes Saga deserve the armband but he would make a horrible captain, always the 1st one walk with his head down.

All I can say is we should not strip off TV5 captaincy in the middle of the season, especially now when everyone dropped form. Gallas incident comes to mind.
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Post by abhinav14 Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:49 am

I wouldn't say strip him off captaincy but drop him. Remember, Neville was captain of United but never first choice.
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Post by Highburied Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:37 am

Maybe hes second best defender but still he has more potential than his partners.

But, hes a short term captain anyway.

Jack Wilshere will be our captain soon.

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Post by abirking Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:12 pm

Following RVP's departure he was safe choice as captain for wenger.
His confidence is down after the mistakes he had made in the last few weeks. However his runs forward has cost the team this season and in previous seasons. I think till gibbs retuns we should play vermaelan as LB and play coquelin as DM with instructions of helping vermaelan marshall the left hand side.
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Post by Wilson37 Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:21 am

Cant understand what this talk all about...
There was no doubt about the captaincy in summer..(somone please bump that captain poll thread).. only reason we are saying this is because of the poor results..
Arteta would have been a great leader.. it doesnt belittle Vermaelens leadership qualities.. TV captained his previous club and country.. His aggression and passion was praised in the summer...
We have seen all the 3CB combinations of TV, Kos and Metskr.. all 3 had some good games.. and none of them were error free.. TV-Met was doing fine at the beginning of season..
Now blaming TV captaincy for the entire teams poor performance is sheer scapegoating..
the funny fact is that many want to drop Vermaelen.. without knowing who to play in ? Kos has shown that he is not error free.. Do u want to see Djurou ? or even Squillaci.. Very Happy
TV is not that bad.. i dont think he has changed much after his injury.. he always made those runs.. no one complained about it when he scored vital goals and won matches for us.. No doubt he is going through a poor run of form.. but more than that we are scapegoating him..
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Post by Emaharg Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:16 am

TV is the best choice for captain and I wouldn't change it, with Sagna possibly going to leave and Arteta not wanting it. This shouldn't even be a discussion Wilshere is too young and only other person I see with passion is Szczesny who is again too young.
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Post by SamuelJayC Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:26 am

Sagna, according to goal.com, refused vice-captaincy.

Not sure I believe it, but anyhow, Arteta should be captain.
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