27 Jun

From as early as the Tottenham game at White Hart Lane it had been obvious that Arsenal’s choice of captain, Thomas Vermaelen, had an issue with the captaincy. Arsenal have since made an informal change of captain, with Mikel Arteta taking the reins effectively and managing to impress many Arsenal fans with his leadership. 

It hasn’t stopped Arsenal fans calling for more experienced leaders and in particular defensive organisers. There is also the section of support who are awaiting the archetypal  British defender that will adopt a no-nonsense approach – somebody that us and the up & coming British players, at Arsenal can identify with.



This is where Ashley Williams, the Wales and Swansea captain comes in. The centre-half, who has just won his biggest honour to date, the Carling Cup, will be looking to finally take the last big step in his career. This is a player that has had to play in all four-tiers of English football with a big opportunity to play in the Champions League. He has had to work his way up to the top and I think that commands a huge respect. 



These types of players are battled-hardened and add a totally different dimension to a very Continental squad at Arsenal. They bring the mentality of grown men, who have worked their way up through the leagues and haven’t had the many luxuries of a lot of the younger, more polished international players at Arsenal. 

There is always an influence, example and inspiration to come from a player like Williams. Let’s also be honest, I wouldn’t suggest he is top class but he has come a long way under the technical Swansea style of play, which makes me believe he would be a good fit at Arsenal. He won’t demand to start every week but I think he would relish the challenge of breaking into the starting eleven and his professional attitude will ensure he is ready when called upon. His experience as captain could be a huge asset for us, as we have lacked leadership at times. 

I’m of the belief that it isn’t just the technical ability alone that makes a player a big player for his club. It’s his mentality, desire to win and leadership skills that can help to raise his team-mates performances and I think Ashley Williams is one of those players that can help to give us solid, Premier League experience which can only enhance our squad depth.


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