Can Arteta lead Arsenal to victory?
Since being appointed Arsenal Captain in the summer, Mikel Arteta has barely featured in the Arsenal team. Injured early in the season, Arsenal fans feared the worst. But are they better off without Mikel?
The last thing needed at Arsenal now is another Captain who can’t make the squad. In the opinion of some, Flamini, bar a few cases of losing focus, the Frenchman looked far more assured in his role as defensive midfielder. Not in terms of ball distribution or creativity, but protection, he sits in front of the back four. However, Arteta was put into the squad against Dortmund and had a statement to make. Needless to say, he didn’t make it, he looked sloppy and uninterested throughout the evening, hesitant and not at all vocal. His passing was often stray and looked lethargic. He was quoted saying “we couldn’t cope with their pace and pressure” but it looked more like a certain holding midfielder had forgotten his duties. Not to single out the Spaniard as the only under performer, of which there were many but when things like this happen, the first person you look at is the captain, and did the captain produce? No, he most definitely did not.
He struggled to command the game in the way he would like, and it wasn’t a question of experience, a nine year Premier League player, was made to look like a player you would find in the lower leagues of England. Often shying away from 50/50 challenges or loose balls and showed no reason as to why he should hold his place in the reigning FA cup champions starting XI, And frankly, he wouldn’t get many Gooners’ mine either. He does show favourable qualities, such as his technique and distribution. There are, though, hundreds of better alternatives with those skills. The clubs around the Gunners have players like Matic and Fernandinho, who are perfectly content to ensure that the aren’t prone to a fast runner on the counter, and aren’t afraid to bite.
Furthermore, players like Arteta have expiry dates, and he may have reached his. Which is why many think it was a poor decision to appoint him in the first place. And as much as the other obvious choice would be internationally retired Per Mertesacker, but i disagree with this too, what the Londoners need to do is get an expierenced defensive midfielder, top four standard and preferably from the age of 24-28, who can have time to establish himself, and then lead the Gunners to whatever the future will bring them. But this future with trophies and success, is a future without Mikel Arteta.
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