Date: 19th January 2011 at 9:51am
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Much is already being made about the Denilson interview conducted by Brazilian Arsenal supporters earlier this month and published on arseblog. If you haven’t seen it it’s worth taking in.

Denilson is probably learning Kiplings wisdom as he endures the ‘truth’ he’s spoken ‘being twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools’. It`s a good sensible and lengthy interview in which he says a great deal about the difficulties of moving continents at a young age to pursue a career, his relationships at the club and his loyalty to and ambition for the club.

Predictably his comments about Cesc not being a leader and a lack of leadership in the team in general will spark the most heat. Of more concern though should be that he doesn’t see any real leaders at the club, that the team is more of a collective, working together well but limited to an extent by the absence of a forceful, driving personality on the pitch. I suppose, as captain, Cesc might be entitled to feel a little irked by such comments but in all honesty the view can’t be a great surprise to anyone. At his best Cesc is a supreme and valuable player but not really a true leader, not yet anyway and in all probability it will never be a particular strength of his personality.

It’s not even a unique situation for the club in that Vieira wasn’t a true leader either. Vieira’s situation was different though in that he did have leaders on the pitch with him that had captained club and country; Gilberto, Campbell, Ljungberg, Lehmann even, were all leaders though with different styles. At the same time Henry, Pires and Lauren were all senior personalities. Vieira had the advantage of being captain of a team that didn’t need captaining.

Cesc doesn’t have that advantage in what is still a relatively young team with perhaps those with leadership potential not yet being at the stage of their careers in which maturity can endow them with a degree of leadership acceptance. We will find leaders among these players but I’d have to agree with Denilson that it isn’t there yet.

If any player should be aggrieved by Denilson’s claim that there aren’t any leaders anywhere at the club it might be deputy captain Rosicky who is a player to have held the captaincy for Dortmund and his national team. As one of Denilson’s best buddies, according to the interview, he might be having a word with him too.

The Arseblog video, interspersed with Denilson clips, ends with a clip of Fabregas embracing Denilson. Hopefully that’s the way it will be seen.



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