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Ozil and Sanchez on AGM agenda


Arsenal must remain focused


Cech, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Wilshere or Ramsey as next Arsenal captain?

The captain's armband has become a long-standing issue at Arsenal following the leadership void left by the likes of Tony Adams and later, Patrick Vieira.

Current captain Mikel Arteta didn't even make the bench for the crucial 2-1 win over Premier League leaders Leicester last Sunday, highlighting Arsene Wenger's failure to find a new leader at the club.

With Arteta out of contract this summer, Wenger is reportedly considering giving Petr Cech the armband for next season in favour of current stand-in Per Mertesacker.

Given this is the fourth season in a row where Arsenal have a captain who is on the fringes of Wenger's first-choice lineup -- Thomas Vermaelen also lost his starting spot after getting the armband in 2012 -- Cech would seem a natural choice.

But what are Wenger's options? Here's a look ...

Arsenal's next captain should be

Petr Cech

Pros: Has all the attributes of a great captain -- vocal leadership, experience, communication skills and world class talent. He commands huge respect from teammates, opponents and referees alike.

Cons: Will be 34 in May, and he would only be a short-term solution. That a Chelsea legend is now the obvious choice for the Arsenal armband only highlights how they have failed to produce a natural leader within their own ranks.

Per Mertesacker

Pros: The German is a commanding presence at the back and Arsenal's most experienced defender. Already serving as the de facto captain, Mertesacker provides leadership both on and off the pitch. Good at organising the back four.

Cons: A lack of pace and hs spot in the starting lineup is under increased threat from Gabriel. Wenger doesn't need another captain who spends most of his time on the bench.

Jack Wilshere

Pros: If Wilshere wasn't so injury prone, he may have already been the perfect captain by now. A product of Arsenal's academy, the midfielder is hugely passionate about the club. Has all the talent to be a leader on the pitch and isn't afraid to speak his mind.

Cons: Too injury-prone. Wilshere has yet to play this season and his long history of injuries has many fans doubting whether he'll ever be a regular presence in the side. Has also shown a lack of maturity off the pitch, being caught smoking while on holiday and heckling Tottenham during Arsenal's FA Cup victory celebration.

Aaron Ramsey

Pros: Has the potential to develop into a Steven Gerrard-type player for Arsenal as a world class midfield general. Joined Arsenal at 17 and is loyal to the club. Ramsey was made Wales captain at 20 and although the armband has since passed to Ashley Williams, he has said he wants to captain both Arsenal and Wales again.

Cons: Still doesn't look like a natural leader on the pitch and doesn't have the dominating presence Gerrard did. Must become more comfortable in a leadership role.

Laurent Koscielny

Pros: The France international has developed into one of the top centre-backs in the Premier League during his years at Arsenal, and is Wenger's most reliable defender. Has filled in as captain this season when Mertesacker and Arteta weren't playing.

Cons: Wenger has acknowledged that Koscielny is not "a real commander" and doesn't talk much on the pitch.

Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him @MattiasKaren.


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