Wenger wise to appoint Fabregas
Arsene Wenger's theory on captaincy is that the era of a single team leader has gone - an out-moded figure made extinct by the demands of the modern game.
I was at the Emirates to hear Wenger outline his beliefs after Arsenal's outstanding win against Manchester United fended off those who felt his side lacked leadership.
This is what he said: "I don't agree any more with people who say you need a leader. Football is so quick that you need shared leadership. The time when centre-backs could just talk is over because the game is too quick."
I disagreed with him then - and maybe Wenger himself is having second thoughts after appointing Cesc Fabregas as captain in place of William Gallas.
Wenger correctly stripped Gallas of the captaincy after an outspoken outburst against his team-mates that may have had its place in the privacy of a dressing room but never in public.
And Wenger has now suggested he does believe in having a leader after all by turning to Fabregas, Arsenal's most inspirational figure, as his new captain.
If Wenger genuinely believed he did not need a leader, Gallas's pointed criticism of his team and a growing crisis has forced him to change his mind.
Fabregas is not in the mould of the old-fashioned, fist-pumping captain - but every team needs a symbol and Wenger will look to the 21-year-old Spaniard for the sort of leadership he appeared to dismiss recently.
The brilliant youngster must be a talisman in the mould of Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, a player his team-mates can look to in times of trouble, the sort of figure Wenger suggested was out-dated in today's game.
Gallas was a flawed choice as captain. He is too combustible and indiscreet a figure, not a natural front man for a club of Arsenal's style.
I recall one France press conference when he publicly and pointedly ignored a question from an English journalist claiming he could not speak the language - despite being swiftly (but politely) reminded by the journalist that he had interviewed him without problems on many occasions.
Gallas, sadly, was an accident waiting to happen.
He should have gone after his infamous sit-in at Birmingham City last season - behaviour that appalled BBC Sport football expert Alan Hansen - and appeared to fly in the face of Wenger's regime of strict physical discipline by being seen smoking recently.
Fabregas is a relentlessly positive personality, a player coveted by every major club in the world and someone who represents the bright Arsenal future Wenger hopes to build.
And his elevation to the captaincy may just help cement Fabregas to Arsenal as Real Madrid and Barcelona watch for any sign of wavering in his loyalty.
He will relish the new responsibility and the challenge of proving Arsenal are not slipping into terminal decline, merely suffering a temporary slump that he will help them snap out of.
Ironically, how Gallas reacts to being stripped of the captaincy may play a major part in how successful Fabregas is in the short term.
Gallas, for any perceived personal faults, is an outstanding defender when motivated - anyone who saw his display against Manchester United recently will testify to his talent.
If he takes his demotion badly, then he will be a malign figure who will need to be removed.
Wenger faces a huge test now to get Arsenal's season back to some semblance of normality after a madcap period, started with the ridiculous concession of two points to neighbours Spurs at home and then that infamous defeat at Stoke.
Some Arsenal fans have questioned whether Wenger's time is up at Arsenal, making fair points to back up their arguments.
He should have strengthened in the summer when Gilberto Silva, Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Hleb left Arsenal and we have already questioned his decision to hand the captaincy to Gallas.
But answer me this? Who is better placed or better qualified to handle these current struggles than Wenger? Name the manager who could succeed him and be more successful?
And does he not deserve to be cut some slack after all he has achieved?
Rest assured, if Wenger left Arsenal tomorrow there are plenty of football fans (and clubs the world over) who would welcome him on Wednesday.
True, he currently has some ground to make up - but the appointment of Fabregas as captain is a step in the right direction.