The A to Z of Arsenal Captains

Arsenal is one of the most well-known football clubs in the world. Going by the recent trend, the post of captaincy for arsenal seems to be jinxed! After a short stint, the club captains seem to flit onwards to more tempting deals. Let’s look at the brief history of the club and its captains.

The current captain of the club is Belgian Thomas Vermaelen, who plays for the national team and captains Arsenal. Vermaelen is left footed, and plays left sided centre-back as well as left-back. Vermaelen is attributed with good leadership skills, aerial ability and quickness.

Vermaelen replaced Robin van Persie in August 2012, after Persie transferred to Manchester United with a four year contract for an initial signing amount of £24 million. Persie currently plays as striker with Manchester United, and made his debut goal with Man U. on 25 August Manchester United vs Fulham match. This turned out to be Manchester United’s first, in a 3-2 victory. Persie has drawn comparison to the legendary Dutch player Marco Van Basten due to his playing ability and style.

Robin Van Persie took over as captain for Arsenal replacing Cesc Fàbregas in August 2011, and served as captain for just a year. Cesc Fàbregas is a Spanish player, and currently plays for FC Barcelona and the national team of Spain. His number is 4, and is dubbed ‘Fab 4’ by the Spanish Media. Fàbregas started his career as a trainee with Barcelona, but was with Arsenal by September 2003, at the age of 16.

Fàbregas quickly established himself in the club, initially as central midfielder, playmaker and finally captain. Fàbregas earned a reputation at Arsenal as one of the most formidable players of his age, and went on to break several of the club’s records. Barcelona had been making several attractive bids for the player, and on August 15 2011, Barcelona FC finally signed a contract for €29 million, with an additional €5 million in variables.

The Arsenal captain preceding Cesc Fàbregas was French player William Gallas, who currently plays for Tottenham Hotspur. Gallas started his international career with English club Chelsea in 2001. In 2006, Gallas joined Arsenal as part of an exchange deal, starting his career with Arsenal as a defender, and number 10.

On 9 August 2007, Gallas was confirmed as captain of the team. His career as team captain was marked by both personal as well as collective successes for the team. However, Gallas’s career was also marked by controversy and tiffs with colleagues. In the 2009-10 seasons, Gallas was in top form and formed a playing partnership with current Arsenal captain and centre-back Thomas Vermaelen, and together they scored seven goals in their first 8 league games.

Gallas and Arsenal failed to reach agreements over a new contract and in summer 2010, Gallas left the club to play independently. In August 2010, Gallas was signed on by Tottenham Hotspur. Gallas has maintained a strong performance with Tottenham and his contract was extended for another two years, keeping him with the club until the 2012 – 13 season ends. I could go further back, Thierry Henry leaving to Barca and Patrick Vieira before that to Juve. So you see it is some what of a curse.

That Arsenal FC has struggled to hold on to its captains in recent times is no mystery. The role of captaincy with the club seems to be characterised by a short stint only to move on to more promising pastures. How Thomas Vermaelen’s captaincy takes shape is what remains to be seen.

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