Wenger hits back 'no leaders at Arsenal' critics

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The Gunners boss has refuted suggestions his club are lacking leaders, naming three players who are admired in his dressing room

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has responded to critics who insist his side lack on-field leaders, saying he has several players in the dressing room who take responsibility. 

Per Mertesacker, Mikel Arteta and Thomas Vermaelen – three players who have worm the armband for the Gunners in recent seasons – had at some point all suffered with major injury problems, leaving the club short of on-field leadership over the years. 

Arsenal 8/1 to win the Europa League

The Gunners slumped to a fifth-place finish last term, missing out on Champions League football for the first time in 21 years, and many critics have pointed to a lack of dressing-room leadership as one of the culprits for the Gunners poor season.

But the French manager has insisted that is not the case. 

"We have many leaders," The Frenchman told Viasat.

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"The modern life has created maybe a bit less natural leadership because more players are better informed and have a bigger knowledge of the game so everybody contributes.

"It is less centralised on one or two persons. But of course at the moment, I would say Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are the captains with Petr Cech so the natural responsibility goes to them."

Arsenal have begun the 2017-18 campaign with a 4-3 win against Leicester City and a 1-0 loss at Stoke City last weekend.