Patrick Vieira claims that Arsenal still have plenty of leaders at the club, despite what many say in the media.
After the display from the Gunners against Liverpool last Sunday, many pundits had exactly the opposite sentiment, insisting that Arsenal’s players didn’t show any leadership qualities at all in their 4-0 defeat.
However, former captain Patrick Vieira disagreed with this assessment, as he asked via Daily Mail: “You’re not going to tell me Mesut Özil is not a leader? You’re not going to tell me Alexis Sanchez is not a leader? You’re not going to tell me Petr Cech is not a leader?
“I believe there are different types of leaders on the field. You have the technical leader, you have the vocal one, you have the one who doesn’t talk but shows it in his desire and how he competes.
“I’m more like that: the one who isn’t as vocal as Tony Adams but will show it how he competes on the field. And you have the type of leader who will want to take a penalty in the 95th minute — this is part of being a leader as well.”
When it comes to the type of leader each of the players Vieira mentioned are, Alexis Sanchez is the obvious choice when it comes to desire, competing and stepping up for a penalty in the 95th minute. In fact, last season Alexis stepped up for a penalty in the 98th minute, to score and win Arsenal the match.
Özil is certainly a technical leader, as the German runs the show offensively. It shows, when Mesut isn’t in the side, big adaptations have to be made to the Gunners’ style of play.
Finally Petr Čech is more of a vocal leader. The problem is that Petr Čech can only easily speak to players in his own box. Once they stray up the field, it’s much harder to influence their decisions. A central midfielder can do this easily, a centre-back is normally close enough to the play as well, but a goalkeeper is nowhere near.
Perhaps this is the problem for Arsenal, their vocal leaders aren’t in the right places on the pitch. Sead Kolašinac doesn’t seem particularly quiet, and perhaps he can help when he’s back in the team after being benched against Liverpool.
Arsenal will have no choice but to find their solutions internally now, because the transfer window is closed. The Gunners play Bournemouth next Saturday.