It is a well-known mistake at this point that every football fan thinks their club is as special as bad luck and downright disastrous. But what we can all agree on is that Arsenal is the ultimate soap opera club.
Gunners can just as easily change strips from red to purple and move on to the fictional city of Harchester. 90min understands that the latest drama in N5 is that coach Mikel Arteta is open to selling the club captain and star player Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, while the curse on Arsenal’s skipper continues.
But how damned is the bracelet? Let’s look at the latest captains of Arsenal Football Club and what happened to them then …
“I have to go now, my planet needs me.” / Paul Gilham / Getty Images
How his captain started: Defender with a lot of international experienceThis is how his captaincy ended: Leaky information about squad tensionsArsenal banter your ratings: 7/10
Gallas was a fantastic defender in his heyday, something that is often overlooked when discussing Arsenal’s sale of Ashley Cole to Chelsea. But when a midfielder takes the number ten shirt, you will not be a popular guy in the football world much longer.
After stepping up on the pitch following a defeat to Birmingham, he left Arsenal on a free transfer in 2010 to join rivals Tottenham – and captained them to their first-ever victory at the Emirates Stadium months later.
Images that precede unfortunate events / Angel Martinez / Getty Images
How his captain started: One of the players who has been the longest after joining from BarcelonaThis is how his captaincy ended: Going to BarcelonaArsenal banter your ratings: 8/10
Fabregas is an undisputed Premier League legend, but his legacy at Arsenal is complicated.
There is a strong argument that he is the best player the Gunners have had since leaving Highbury, but his status as a big player at Chelsea makes the water confused. At least we know he’s hating Spurs.
Van Persie left to join rivals Man Utd / ANDREW YATES / Getty Images
How his captain started: The last star standingThis is how his captaincy ended: Forces to move to Wenger’s biggest rivalArsenal banter your ratings: 9/10
After leading Arsenal to an unlikely third place and winning the Premier League golden boot, Van Persie decided he needed to compete for titles – and he did not think it was possible at Arsenal.
The “little boy” in him told him to move to Man Utd, and within a year he was a champion.
Vermaelen resigned at least on good terms, right? / Clive Mason / Getty Images
How his captain started: Well, someone must have the braceletThis is how his captaincy ended: Also going to BarcelonaArsenal banter your ratings: 3/10
Why Barça was interested in Vermaelen at this stage of his career is one of life’s great mysteries.
He had been dropped from Arsenal’s first choice XI long before his final season, but still after a year in Catalonia he had added a Champions League medal to his collection. Anything.
Arteta would return to the club as manager / David Rogers / Getty Images
How his captain started: The most underrated player in the leagueThis is how his captaincy ended: A series of injuries and retirementArsenal banter your ratings: 5/10
Vermaelen started a trend where the club’s captain at Arsenal hardly ever presented, and this tradition was continued by Arteta.
Nowadays, the Spaniard still has a fairly important role in the club while he still does not play. It’s not going well for him.
Mertesacker made six Premier League appearances during his final season / AFP Contributor / Getty Images
How his captain started: The slowest athlete in historyThis is how his captaincy ended: The slowest athlete in history, but slowerArsenal banter your ratings: 1/10
It felt like Mertesacker actually retired a few years before he actually did 2018, when he took over as head of the Arsenal academy.
Given how many young players are making an impact at the Emirates, he is probably doing a better job than Arteta after retirement.
New player, new jersey, find it now here ➡ https://t.co/6Jb2BRKbIo pic.twitter.com/eCfsGaSUYS
– FC Girondins de Bordeaux (@girondins) 6 August 2019
How his captain started: The first in time after WengerThis is how his captaincy ended: With this “disrespectful” cover in BordeauxArsenal banter your ratings: 7/10
Personally, I do not see anything disrespectful with this video, but it rubbed some Arsenal fans the wrong way and that’s all that matters.
Hang this in the Louvre / Visionhaus / Getty Images
How his captain started: When he got the house keys as a childThis is how his captaincy ended: To be offered by 60,000 people and swear at them in responseArsenal banter your ratings: 10/10
Unbelievably, Xhaka is still at Arsenal today, and the club even triggered an extension in his contract after failing to sell him this transfer window.
Here come many more fond memories.
Aubameyang inherited the captain from Xhaka / Visionhaus / Getty Images
How his captain started: The limit of legendary statusThis is how his captaincy ended: Not availableArsenal banter your ratings: TBD
After almost exclusively drawing Arsenal to their FA Cup triumph in 2020, fans were confident that Aubameyang would end his Emirates Stadium career alongside Thierry Henry and Ian Wright as one of the true legendary forwards.
An offensive contract to extend his stay in north London was followed by a rather disappointing season, and now it looks like he may be forced out the door before this window closes. That’s the Arsenal way.