Time for Arsenal to find a new captain?

Should Thomas Vermaelen be replaced as his injury problems continue?

Arsene Wenger confirmed yesterday that, his club captain, Thomas Vermaelen would be spending more time on the treatment table7 was originally planned this summer. The Belgian was originally only supposed to miss three to four weeks of action - however the defender has now aggravated his long-standing back problem.

Wenger stated yesterday that the estimated recovery time from his latest ailment was somewhere in the region of six weeks - ruling him out of the start of the season.

And, although this question has already been posed to Wenger, I felt it had to be posed one last time.

Is it time that Thomas Vermaelen was no longer the Gunners skipper?

First things first, I suppose, is his injury record. In recent years the player has spent an increasingly large amount of time on the treatment table - and what is the use of a captain, a leader, who is spending most of his time spectating rather than participating.

Then there is the simple fact he is no longer a starter for the club. His poor form last year saw him pushed to the side-lines, when fit, by Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny. Such was the success of that dynamic it is difficult to see Wenger going with anything else at the present moment in time.

Now there is renewed talk that Wenger could even move for a central defensive option, in order to give adequate cover in the heart of the clubs defence.

The general consensus remains that Arsenal are going to make a bid for Swansea City captain Ashley Williams at some point this summer. If they can snap him up then Vermaelen’s role as captain would become untenable.

For me there are better options. Mikel Arteta has stood-in during the absence of Vermaelen and led by example from the heart of midfield.

Lukas Podolski, Bacary Sagna and even a fully-fit Jack Wilshere would all make good captains when called upon.

But having Vermaelen as the team’s club captain right now is like having an exquisite coat with no zip - it fits, but it just can’t keep out the rain.

Do you think Arteta should be the clubs permanent captain?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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