With the future of The Gunners’ current skipper Cesc Fabregas still far from being fully resolved, we look back at three of the Spaniard’s predecessors who have performed this role with particular distinction during the last 50 years.
This trio were all fine players in their day, great leaders on the pitch and lifted their fair share of trophies. They each represent a distinct episode in the North Londoners’ recent history whilst occupying a space in the minds of the Arsenal faithful.
The Scottish centre-half was made skipper by Bertie Mee in 1967. In proved to be an inspired move as the next four years would be a rollercoaster at Highbury. After the pain of two successive defeats in the League Cup Finals of 1968 and 1969, Arsenal won the Fairs Cup in 1970 and McLintock secured his place in history the following season by leading Arsenal to their first ever League and FA Cup double.
‘Mr Arsenal’ was the archetypal one-club man. He became the club’s youngest-ever skipper at only 21-years-old when inheriting the armband from Kenny Samsom in 1988 and led The Gunners to nine major trophies before his retirement in 2002. He is the only player to captain a Championship-winning side in three different decades and made over 400 appearances for the North Londoners from the heart of defence.
Adams played 66 times for England, including 15 games as captain, and went on to manage both Portsmouth and Wycombe.
Arsenal’s first foreign captain was the natural choice to succeed Tony Adams in 2002. The Frenchman lifted the FA Cup in his first season as skipper before playing a pivotal part in the legendary unbeaten title campaign that followed.
His height, stamina and physical presence ensured that he was a great leader and a colossus in midfield. He won everything that the English game had to offer before leaving for Juventus in 2005 and being replaced by Wenger’s new rising star Cesc Fabregas. Vieira also won international honours and possesses World Cup 98 and Euro 2000 Winners’ medals from a long and successful career with France.
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