“He should do one or be done”, sneered Handy Dave about or club captain. Well it’s an odd one isn’t it?
It’s pretty safe to say that Thomas Vermaelen hasn’t had the glittering Arsenal career that he and the club thought he would have. The nimble centre back has been hampered by injury and due to this a lack of consistent playing time, which in turn brought about a lack of match fitness and sharpness and then a lack of confidence it seemed, especially when looking at some of the diabolical decisions he made on the pitch.
On the outside, he looked like perfect club captain material; diplomatic, good communicator, talented and not a complete ugly c**t to boot. But what a strange player he is a centre back in a full back’s meat sack. Calm on the ball (well he was), great passer, he had a bit of the old libero type vibe going on. But I am sure that Vermaelen had no idea that in his absence an upstart from Ligue deux and a German giant, who (let’s be frank about this), looked like a gargantuan waste of food and cash when he arrived, would form such a great partnership in the heart of the Arsenal back four. We fans certainly didn’t and the club management can pretend all they want that they had planned it all this way, but they didn’t have a fuc**ng scooby either, it has been a happy accident. An un-cum filled happy finish, if you will. It must have smarted for the Belgian too, seeing Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker form such a great friendship, albeit seemingly forced upon Koscielny by his German teammate; who could forget them choosing to hold the FA Cup aloft in glorious unison instead of individually after that victorious final at Wembley last season, ending our trophy drought.
So where will he go? Being offered a one year contract extension seemed like a club going through the motions, as did Vermaelen turning it down. Man Utd and Barca seem like the most likely suitors. It still baffles me, even after a pony year, that players would consider moving to Salford and the rain. Barca I can understand, although I loathe the bastards. “More than a Club” goes their rather bullshit motto. Barca are different, yes, but not in the way they pretend to the unsuspecting prole to be. An institution that has used pseudo-partisan tendencies to rile it’s supporters into a frenzied tribalism, pretending they are revolutionary against the ‘bad guys’ royalists of Real Madrid, also saying they would only spoil their sacred colours to help (the Unicef shirt sponsorship), knowing full well that this was paving the way for a huge shirt sponsorship deal with the Qatar Foundation. The Qatar Foundation is a ‘non profit organisation’, which says its priorities are ‘education projects in the Middle East’, so it reckons. “Sounds like a few rich blokes’ tax right off” says Handy Dave, but nobody listens to him and they shouldn’t either, he’s pissed by 9.30 am after the school run. Barca are like Apple. Their public persona is one of being an alternative to the more conservative norm, but strip back the image, it’s all fancy dress, they are just another money making machine.
But, what it comes down to, is where will the lad get a game? He would work well for both and the chap clearly needs a fresh start and we need a fresh head and set of legs for back up. That back up looks like it could turn out to be another nimble, injury prone centre back called, Daniel Agger of the Victims Club aka Liverpool FC. Like for like and a tiny bit of a waste of time? Yes, but it is a necessary one.
When all is done and dusted, we will need a new club captain. Will it be Arteta, our current vice captain or Mertesacker, Arteta’s understudy? Or maybe, it should be someone new, for a completely fresh start. But who?
Mertesacker – makes sense, he is a natural leader, understands the fans, plays at centre back (the old school place to have a club captain). But It would be a little strange for me. In my opinion, Koscielny is a far better player and having Mertesacker as the team leader when the guy who plays next to him is better is quite odd. There is something for giving the armband to the natural leader, but being skipper when you are the lesser half of a defensive partnership is an oddity. You wouldn’t have given “Billy” Costacurta the armband at Milan whilst he played alongside Baresi, would you? If you would, you’re a shit eating shit eater!
Arteta? Don’t be stupid. I don’t see the Spaniard starting too much next season if another midfielder is signed. And we badly need a new defensive midfielder. Arteta has done a steady job for us, but he is no champions league level midfielder and may not even last the summer.
So farewell Thomas, enjoy the dog turd filled Ramblas or Moss Side. It seems, dear boy, the choice is yours!