Vermaelen returns to starting 11 along with Jack | Question: Who is your next captain?

by & filed under News Review.

Good morning good people of Le Grove. Apologies for the late post and the probable short length of this one. I’ve had a manic week and I’ve got a manic day ahead.

I’ll crack straight in with the gloating… Spurs lost in the quarter finals of the Europa League against Swiss team Basle. What made it so fantastical is that the game was an absolute slog. It went to extra time. Then the penalty shoot out ended it. Adebayor missing in quite horrendous fashion.

So Spurs are out of Europe, which means they can focus on the league… but I think they’ll be shattered. Which can only support us for the run in.

The news for Norwich tomorrow is that Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere return to the squad. Jack could find himself starting because Rosicky is out with a tight hamstring. Therein lies the problem with the Czech, give him 5 or 6 games and it destroys his body. You can’t rely on him long term, but he’s been a perfectly placed stop gap whilst Jack has been out.

So the only real conundrum for Arsene centres around whether he lets Walcott loose at the expense of Gervinho. Which, based on form and the general love he has for the Ivorian, would probably be a no. We’ll have a pretty strong bench though.

Norwich will come with a game plan tomorrow. Chris Hughton is a quite a savvy manager. We often struggle against Norwich. They can play football to decent standard and they have a collection  of quite average players who seem to play 20% above their ability. If we play to the level we have been over the last few games, they shouldn’t pose a problem. I just hope Arsene sends out a motivated group of players. We’re heading into muddy waters… we’re on a run. Let’s hope we don’t get complacent.

One player who certainly wont be short of motivation is Thomas Vermaelen. He’ll be slipping back into the starting 11 off the back of a Mertesacker suspension. It’s his first game in a while, so we’re either going to see vintage Thomas or it’s going to be a nightmare. He doesn’t play well with Koscielny at the best of times, I’m not sure how he’ll stack up after a period out.

It’s interesting times for Thomas. Being third choice when you’re the captain is a bad place to be. It almost undermines you to the point where you’d have to think about leaving. It’ll be a real shame to lose him this summer, but realitically, what are the options available to him? Either accept third choice and hand the armband over… or Arsene makes him first choice when he has more solid options.

Wenger really didn’t think this one through… despite statements like the below…

He is a great man and I didn’t make him captain by coincidence. I knew there is something mentally special there. He responds in positive situations and in less positive situations like when you don’t play.

I’m not sure the sign of a great captain is someone who takes getting dropped well? He should never have been give the armband. For me, the man for that job was always going to be Arteta. If the armband does come up for grabs this summer… I’m not sure who will take it. You’d imagine the Spaniards role will get marginalised next season, which rules him out… outside that, I can’t think past Jack. He’s too young though. You can’t give it to the front three… I’m not sure Sagna is going to be here. None of the keepers would merit it… and you certainly don’t buy in a captain.

It’s crazy… there’s no Mr Arsenal outside Jack Wilshere.

Who would you pick?

Catch you in the comments…

339 Responses to “Vermaelen returns to starting 11 along with Jack | Question: Who is your next captain?”

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  1. bankz

    With all the teams Y’all keep churning out..I honestly don’t see us signing more than 3 players in the Summer.
    A goalkeeper
    A Defensive midfielder/ centre back and
    A Striker.
    If by some miracle or moment of amnesia, Arsene decides to get a 4th, then I’d be over the moon.
    Who will Arsene buy?? That’s a question I guess we all know the answer to? He won’t sign more than 1 big known name(maybe a Jovetic or Capoue or a benteke,don’t know if I will call him a big name) and the other 2/3 will be nameless upcoming potentials.
    Fact is Belgovic, vorm,cesar, benteke, Remy and Felliani are all affordable but Wenger hardly signs from the EPL. Only reason he may sign Benteke is because he loves AFC and would willingly be an understudy to Giroud if given the opportunity to play UCL with Arsenal.

  2. Radio Raheem

    Just read the comments on Jack.

    Seriously, lads you need to calm it down. Jack is one of the most talented midfielders in world football. I feel his best position is CM but it shows how much of a talent he is that he is having to play as an AM simply because the team needs it.

    So posters are suggesting benching a player dominating matches in a top 4 league for players in average leagues?

    It is simple, midfield is or should be Wilshere + anyone else. What are people
    smoking on here?

  3. JJ

    We had better see Podolski start tomorrow. Giroud is useless. We are the worst crossers in the league so he can never us his head.

  4. tom

    Great discussion today.
    Fantasy football is not my thing so I won’t join in except by saying I think after a good house-clean we should have room and resources for 5 new players. 2 of those should be top drawer, the rest can be a rung below. Add a couple of promotions too.

  5. Toli83

    Radio Raheem,

    He’s a decent player don’t get me wrong. But look at the stats, few assists or goals.

    Look at the English players of our generation . Lampard, assists and goals. Gerrard the same. Beckham, assists , Scholes goals.

    Wilshire will be a great when he reaches that level on superiority. It takes competition for places and foundations within a squad to do that in my opinion.

    Have a good weekend chaps.

  6. Benster

    Is Jack ready? All I know is that he really does love this football club. And no matter how young he might be, he’s not afraid vocalize discontent when others aren’t putting a shift in for the club. Captain? Fuck yeah

  7. Thomas

    The problem is even if we bring in all those players you guys are talking about the french twat is still manager. He’s the problem. He needs to go first then we can build a team.

  8. kwik fit


    Yeah some of the stuff that came out of that guys mouth last evening was rather crude and vulgar. Pedro really had no choice but to ban him I’m afraid. Hopefully it will be for a short time and he’ll wash his mouth out and come back totally recharged and refreshed.

  9. kwik fit

    If only Keyser had of stuck to the u-tube vids and southern comfort ad then he may have still been with us. But alas neigh……….Good luck Keyser……..Where ever you are.

  10. bankz

    Read My post, I said he would ” willingly be an understudy to Giroud if given a chance to play UCL ”
    I seriously don’t think Wenger is going to dump Giroud next season. Even if he buys Jovetic, he will play him on the wings to accommodate Giroud..MHO.
    He only dished Chamakh because we already had a lethal striker in RVP.
    Even Podolski as clinical as he is can’t get ahead of Giroud.
    Normal Circumstance.- Benteke benches Giroud.
    Arsene’s Circymstance.- Giroud ahead of Benteke even though Benteke gets to score 3 goals for every single goal Giroud scores’.

  11. David Andreassen

    Guys, need some help. Ifanyone sees this and lives in London, I’m in town with my brother to see the game and would like to find a good Gunners-pub before the game so that we can prepare properly..
    Does anyone have any good Pub suggestions?

  12. Toli83

    David Andreason,

    Your best bet is proberly the Gunners pub for atmosphere.

    Failing that go to The Che which is pretty close to the ground or The Tollington, all three pubs are 10 mins from the ground.

  13. Bergkamp10

    buying a captain is exactly what arsenal need!!
    didn’t west ham give it to kev nolan str8 away!

    agreed it isnt ideal but as you have posted we are not in an ideal captaincy decision anyway

    if we sign (which we wont)
    someone like Casillas – Lahm – De rossi etc etc i would take a punt and if they flop jack is waitin

  14. Voetstoots

    Pedro, you tweeted last night that today’s post was done – it’s 11:00 and nothing on the blog yet… Still sleeping off those Peronis?