Whether mis-quoted or not (and I’m fairly sure he was) Denilson has made a valid point about the lack of leaders in the Arsenal side.
True his actual quotes were taken from an interview meant only for the Arseblog and Arsenal Brazil websites by a third party, sold to the sun and then put through their trashy, tabloid story spinner in order to make dramatic if mis-leading headlines.
But cut away the red-top tittle tattle for a minute I think Denilson has a valid point to make and one some fans have appreciated for a while.
I have to say that Cesc does a fantastic job, I’ll say that now, but I have always seen him and the captaincy as an awkward mix. It landed in his lap almost by default as he was the club’s best player following the William Gallas, er, ‘incident’.
It seemed like a sweetener to keep him at the club and an admission that there was no-one else really qualified for the job.
But as Wenger persists with his quest to build a title winning side full of kids it is true that the squad has no natural leader on the pitch. The spectre of Tony Adams and Patrick Vieira loom large over the current side, not only because of their fine achievements in an Arsenal shirt but the lack of a modern day equivalent.
After the defeat to Ipswich last week Fabregas moaned to the press about the Tractor Boys ‘rugby style’ tactics. Would Adams or Vieira have done that? I doubt it, they would have rolled their sleeves up during the game and pulled the rest of the players through it, rather than collapsing in the face of some agricultural football and whining afterwards.
It is a persistent problem with this Arsenal side, their apparent 'soft-centre' and image that they, to put it crudely ''dont' like it up 'em" , merely encourages technically inferior sides to try and kick lumps out of them in order to make up for the difference in quality.
Denilson won’t have meant to have caused such a storm and has perhaps learnt a harsh lesson about how the media can spin even the most innocent of comments. But they very fact he mentioned it suggests the players are equally aware of a glaring problem the fans have known for a while, but Wenger seems reluctant to tackle.