Per Mertesacker confirmed as club captain for 2016-17

Arsenal captain 2016

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Per Mertesacker will be the club captain for the new season.

Despite the fact the BFG suffered a serious knee injury last month and won’t play again until 2017, the Arsenal manager has not gone back on a decision he made earlier in the summer.

In the programme for tomorrow’s Premier League opener against Liverpool, Wenger said, “He is a very respected figure in the dressing room and is a very demanding figure as well.

“I think it is absolutely natural for him to take the role. He is injured at the moment, but he will have two or three assistants who will take up the baton.

“These will be the experienced players like Laurent Koscielny, Santi Cazorla and Petr Cech. We will have a group of people that will take care of the energy levels and the team’s problems, and that’s a job for the senior players.

“We are all here to serve the club and rise above our own personal interests. Per has played many games and he has a fantastic mentality. He has a great mental stature that is absolutely remarkable.”

Wenger’s decision was backed by players like Mesut Ozil, who said, “I always see Per as a role model. He’s very focussed, very professional,” and Koscielny who remarked, “The player who is most helpful is Per. He always talks with the other players and tries to help them give their best for the team.”

The idea of collective responsibility, on and off the pitch, is a good one, and without that archetypal Tony Adams style captain in your side, it makes a lot of sense to share things around.

However, the Arsenal captaincy is something of a poisoned chalice these days. Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta stricken by loss of form and injury which meant they hardly played, while Mertesacker’s absence with his knee problem means the club captain and the on-field skipper are often very different.

Still, the BFG is a wise, experienced head, and with Cech, Cazorla and Koscielny as back-up, we’re pretty well covered.

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@arseblog Just curious. The present era of Arsenal fans are beyond critical. It seems a large contingent are constantly negative, constantly questioning every move, every decision by the manager and the club. Never satisfied and can never universally get behind the club. And I feel that resonates on match day when the fans don’t get behind the team on the pitch. Was it like this 10 years ago ? 15-20 years ago when we had great sides and social media wasn’t as prominent ? Seems like the current group of millennial Arsenal fans, at least the ones that comment on… Read more »

Ducks sake

Definitely people still moaned and they definitely had negative attitudes if they felt the club was making poor decisions.

Although you didn’t have to listen to it as much because you could go home.


If you’ve got a point to make then feel free to make it. Everyone’s got different views and opinions, which I consider to be a good thing.
But when you tell fellow fans to fuck off and support another club, you make yourself sound like a dick.


It’s only on the Interweb thing that the fans are over negative. In the real world amongst friends and family it’s much better to be a Gooner.


JB…does that go for the legends of the club who have came out and spoke about current events? Henry, Petit and Parlour to name a few? Indeed the criticism has reached new heights, but as fans who pay the most money in the country to watch their club, constructive criticism is a must. And ten, twenty years ago we showed ambition in the transfer market which resonated on the pitch and we were able to compete and win top honours. Little can be said of recent times. Support the team because we are the Arsenal but you do not blindly… Read more »


Just after the season end it was a love affair on here, everyone happy and positive, everyone forgetting how poor we were for most of the season end. I got slammed for saying we were lucky to finish second, something our new captain has also said.

Anyway, as the summer turn into another Arsenal transfer Groundhog Day the “fans” remember their frustrations and start moaning, not to worry when September comes and we win a couple games, everyone will be happy again and claiming Wenger is a genius, and asking where all the negative Terrys have gone.


There are books here that can help you.


Would we lie to you Charles?

Ducks sake

Look into my eyes….

Kosc' Other Pocket

We could have done better, no?

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Another captain on the bench like Vermaleen. Mustafi will be starting all games next year.


Considering the curse, better off sticking with the already injured Per!


We should probably give the captaincy to somebody we want rid of in future.

Anonymous Kumquat

Or give it to Jack and see if it reverses the effect.




Gesundheit und ewiges leben für unsere lieber Per! Great choice – represents the best of Arsenal values on and off the pitch and is universally recognized as a top human being.


@Goo-nerd top human being indeed !


Well deserved! The BFG is the best man for the job. And also one of the nicest Arsenal-players the last few decades.

Hope we will see him back on the field after Christmas. And I’m sure we have several other senior players who can deputize in his absence.


New tradition!

Non playable skipper.

The Great Ex-Priest Tobin

This is the guy who complained about struggling for motivation after the world cup. If you ever struggle to motivate yourself to play for Arsenal, you shouldn’t be captain. Alexis should be captain.


oh, do fuck off

Petit's Handbag

So Per is the club captain. Who’s our actual captain? Maybe like the number 9 he’s saving it for Messi?
Theo Messi, brother of Leo




Last 3 captains Fabregas, Arteta and Per. Just more evidence that Wenger is losing the plot.



Me So Hornsey

So who is the most ‘official’ vice-captain?

I Rony

The fat spanish guy who smiles a lot.

Ducks sake

Mental. Why not just make Gunnersaurus captain. At least he’s on the pitch.


This is great. Part of the movement to having captains that never even play! We should pursue the idea of having a capt’n stand on the sidelines doing the shouting and physical actions of wild flamboyant gestures of annoyance and excitement, while the 105 year old brain of Arsene Wenger – sitting in a gooey formaldehyde solution – issues telepathic instructions to the Capt’n via 45G Wifi.

Parisian Weetabix

Worked for Portugal.


I’m so ready for people to overreact about this


So who is the stand in captain among the three?

Cliff Bastin

Cech. Love Koscielny and Santi but they’re not gonna stand up to a cuntblaster like Costa. In fact Xhaka is more appropriate but probably too junior in the team.


I hate the perception that you lose someone’s leadership qualities if they aren’t named captain. Anyone in the team can “stand up to a cuntblaster”, not just the guy who’s wearing the arm band…

Cliff Bastin

Yes but most of the team are guys who ‘just get on with it’ apart from Gabriel and Jack who get into people’s faces and assert themselves.


Cliff Bastin… That’s totally another problem. Neither Jack nor Gabriel (and probably rightfully so) have ever worn the armband. We do need more leaders in the team but none of that has anything to do with who we name captain


Completely agree remember the passion at the battle of old Trafford when there were four/five players (following Keown the beast) letting Van Nistlehorse know their feelings…what I’d give to have that fire in the team now….


The Arsenal club captain should be the very first name on the team sheet.
Per isn’t that….and after we sign another CB, even less so.
Vermalean, Arteta and now Per…none were automatic choices. What other club would so that three times in a row? Mad.
Kos or Cech.


So pretty much Koscielny is the new captain. Per isn’t going to see much playing time, especially if Mustafi arrives. I like Kos as the captain, well deserved.


Why not add Monreal as a potential stand in captain? Monreal knows how to put them cheating diving cunts in his pocket. I like his reactions to refereeing decisions. The team should follow his lead on this aspect.


Per is a great choice for now! Im certain that in 3-4 years Xhaka will become our new cap’n. That guy has all the qualities.


Xhaka will get the dressing room keys.


Since the skunk left, we haven’t been able to find neither a suitable striker nor a fit captain. Maybe he has cursed us or something?


Another captain who won’t play.


Of course he is. Whoever gets the first long term injury gets captain these days.

Tee Söng

Probably just as well. If we gave it to someone else, they’d just pick up our annual long term injury to the captain. We just beat the injury gods to the punch!


To be an arsenal fan you have to have opinions that are not contrary to, well… If you have any misgivings about things done you either keep it to yourself or someone tells you to go f**k yourself & support another team.
just keep quiet and support the team no matter what… Right?

Complaining or pointing out things does not mean you are any less a supporter than the guy who takes it all… If you are offended by people’s comments you can read the article alone and avoid the comments section…


BFG is one of the most underrated defenders.

Forget about pace, far better to have someone who can understand positioning.

He’s a big loss start of this season.

That said, generally, when someone becomes captain recently, it’s an exit the next season. RVP and Arteta …

I think Per is in our last season or so with us. He will start to take a back seat but first we must bring someone in who can pair with Koscielny (himself not that much younger). Or develop one of the trio of hopefuls.

Ducks sake

Who exactly is he underrated by? He’s got one hundred odd ducking caps for Germany.

I like him, he just needs to toughen up in aerial challenges.


Tomorrow’s game is a bit of a risk to say the least.

Hope we do the right thing put pressure higher up and have Granit, Coquelin screen effectively ahead of the central defensive pair.


Hahaha so basically Per will never play for us again. The curse continues.

Bendtner's Ego

Do you want your captain to be:
A) the most talented player on the team?
B) the most professiona and experienced player on the team?

I’d opt with B) because the captain should be someone who elicits respect and encourages professionalism. He can inspire the squad whether he is in the lineup or not.

Fabregas as captain was a disaster. Completely undeserved as he wasn’t emotionally ready for it.


Any word on VC?