Saturday, May 25, 2024

Emery wants an Englishman as one of his captains

Unai Emery says he’s open to a young English player becoming one of his Arsenal captains next season as he looks to fill the void left by Petr Cech, Aaron Ramsey and, potentially, Laurent Koscielny.

Should the club choose to strip Koscielny of the armband, it’s looking likely that Granit Xhaka will be the man selected to take over the headline role. The Swiss led out an experienced side against Bayern Munich earlier this week and is well-thought-of internally.

Mesut Ozil, despite last season’s travails, and Nacho Monreal look likely to be deputies meaning two free spots need to be filled.

“I want one English player in these five captains,” told Football.London. 

“Last year [Granit] Xhaka, Mesut [Ozil] and Nacho [Monreal] were working as captains. But after Aaron Ramsey and Petr Cech left – and possibly Laurent Koscielny – I will want more.

“An English player who grew up in our academy can understand the English spirit and Arsenal values. These are the qualities and more [we want].”

He added: “We lost some players with big experience and a long time in England and Arsenal like Cech and Ramsey. We lost Koscielny too.

“They started one day being captain when they were young. We have young players with experience, players starting for the first time to be considered as captains.

“If we decide on a player they have the capacity and deserve to have the opportunity to be captain.”

While we’ve promoted a host of young Englishmen to the first team squad, it’s hard to believe Emile Smith Rowe, Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah are ready to lead the established stars. That leaves Calum Chambers, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Carl Jenkinson and Rob Holding.

The latter makes the most sense, assuming he reestablishes himself in the first team after his injury. In positive news, he’s closing in on an early return.

“We are really happy with his progress,” said Emery. “He started training with us a few days ago. We’re going to do one process to let him play little by little.

“We need his performances as a centre-back. When he had his injury he was really playing with big performances.”

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What about a Spaniard who sounds like he grew up on the Old Kent Road?


That would truly be awesome.


One spot still open after Holding.


Oh how I would love to hear him as captain in a negotiation with the Ref.


They should all fight each other and hardest man gets the captaincy

Kwame Ampadu Down

Sokratis it is so

Drogheda Gunner

I think kolasonic would give him a run for his money. Lol

Kwame Ampadu Down

If Kola boxes like he plays football he will probably land a few really good punches but get hit in the face quite a lot!?


I see Papa getting inside and grappling for a takedown and it’s all over.


Papa v Kola. What a match.

Too bad Kola’s knee would give in right when he’s starting to get some form.

Ya gooner

Xhaka as captain worries my heart rate/blood pressure.


Agreed. He is someone who is totally in his comfort zone.


Tbf he was thee only one who look to actuallly giving fuck at the europa final unlike the rest of them

Reality check

Not fair. Him, Kola and Paps are always standing up for their team mates, we missed that edge about us since the days of Adams and Vieira. Xhaka has that controlled maddness and serious on point attitude. I hope he irons out some of the defensive issues he has. Other than that, his passing between the lines and long passes are quite good. Fans are a fickle bunch. Treatment of a player depends on how they are currently performing on the pitch, nothing else matters. I have seen Aaron (recently elevated to God level) Ramsey getting booed a few years… Read more »


Hear hear.


I like xhaka, but he needs to be a little more mobile in addition to improving on his defending. He’s a very good player for most leagues, but deep lying midfielders have to have a really well rounded game at the PL level these days due to the presence of the masters of pressing (Klopp, Guardiola, and Pochettino).

P j

We really Need to get rid of him


Finally a young captain. One who I know will stay for a long time.

Toure Motors

Big fan of 1 club captain and 1 vice captain. This five captains doesn’t seem to have any tangible value. I’d go for xhaka (as he’s staying) and holding or nacho


I’d personally go for Lacazette, with Xhaka potentially vice. Laca is a guaranteed starter whereas there’s an argument that Xhaka isn’t even the best in the club in his position.


He isn’t a guaranteed starter especially if we get a winger

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Laca was our best player last year. If he is not played because of a winger then that winger better be Neymar.
Five captains show a manager who struggle making decisions. Why not 11 captains then? I go for Auba captain and Laca vice captain them being the best players.


Best player does not a captain make. In fact they’re frequently at odds. It’s frequently a totally different set of qualities.

Can you imagine Neymar as your captain? That would be absolute horror.


Not sure I agree with that, Lacazette was the lynchpin of our attack last season, and there’s no one else with his skillset in the squad. Cant really see Emery ditching him now, more likely that Aubameyang moves wide to accommodate another winger if need be.


With all due respect and I know footballers shouldn’t be judged by their intelligence, and Lacazette is a great striker, but do I really want someone who said Australia is in Asia as the captain of my team? The same goes for Sokratis, who managed to come up with only 1 country starting with ‘A’, and even that was ‘America’ … those videos were really painful to watch.

Andre Santos' car keys

Australia is in Asia according to FIFA.

Crash Fistfight

Unless FIFA introduce a quiz round to settle knock-out games in the event of a draw I reckon it might not be important how intelligent/knowledgeable our captain is.


They don’t know where their teammate Mkhitaryan is from??!

Ordnance Dave

Our captain always gets a transfer so… Mustafi?


I don’t even want xhaka at arsenal he’s fucking shit,,


I think it’s that he sees a lack of leadership in the squad so he’s trying to put the responsibility on players to develop it


I think Holding is ready. He showed it the day he tapped on his temple towards Diego Costa.

Man Manny

Rob Holding captain

SB Still

Effectively the same report we’ve been reading for weeks


“An English player who grew up in our academy, with Arsenal values.”

Arise, Sir Carl Jenkinson!


The king in the North!

Crash Fistfight

He grew up in the Charlton academy.

Ordnance Dave

I always cherish the Corporal’s domination of the right flank, away at ¢iteh.


Alex Iwobi?

Cultured determination

We need a solid defender. We need someone loyal to us. We need a fighter. We need proven quality and track record. We are cheap so we need to get him for free. We need him to have lots of experience. We need him to be our english captain. Well, guess what, we have one under our noses all this time! Get dressed, bouldy, you’re on next!


Avin a laugh,, the great TONY ADAMS was the best defender we’ve ever had, anyone who thinks different is a fake arsenal fan,

DB10s Air Miles

It was clearly a joke and Tony ‘your obsession’ Adams isn’t at the club anymore either.


Would of been a better NO 2 than bould but because he ain’t a yes man wenger wouldn’t of wanted him, also would of sorted that defence out bit better than it was


DB10s air miles ??


Bring him back then

Crash Fistfight

Free you say…

Bid for Gary Cahill incoming in 3…2…1…


I really like Rob Holding. He has a great attitude and was starting to look like he was going to be solid for us at the back before his injury. Definitely captain material in my eyes


5 Captains is bollox i’m sorry, captain and vice captain and that’s it, who cares what the skipper says if you’ve four other ones! Give me one Tony Adams, One Paddy Viera any day over any five players in our squad.


I follow Ozil on FB and i see him posting a lot of pictures of Megan Rapinoe recently. Is she joining us or something?

DB10s Air Miles

Lets hope not. She cant tell the difference between sexism and basic economics. Although she probably could claim a place in our squad.


Did I miss her saying something wrong economically, because the USWNT actually brings in more revenue than the USMNT. Women’s football is bigger than the men’s game in America if I am not mistaken, so shouldnt they earn more?


I only meant to make a joke about his new shit hair.

DB10s Air Miles

I was referring to the WC winners prize pot to be fair. And the viewing figures for that are absolutely dwarfed, at the moment, when compared to the men’s WC. That means smaller tv, sponsorship and advertising deals, hence the massive difference in prize money. There’s been huge gains in the women’s game though and it’s clearly looking good going forward but they won’t achieve parity overnight. The US seems light years ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to the women’s game but it takes generations to close the gap as you need to start getting… Read more »

DB10s Air Miles

Just to be clear Megan Rapinoe complained that the women WC winners only get $30 whilst the men receive $400.


So? She’s also complained that Fifa scheduled the final of Women’s World Cup on the same day as two other finals.

Surely, this indicates that Fifa isn’t doing all it can to promote women’s football. In fact, it indicates they don’t give a fuck about it at all.
The WWC became quite widely followed this year, despite very little effort by Fifa to promote it.
It could be that women’s football is yet another thing that Fifa is fucking up.

Rapinoe is right to complain about Fifa, because Fifa is shit.


Don’t know which part of the world you’re in but over here in the UK it aired on a Sunday at 20:00. I wasn’t aware of any other finals but it’s almost impossible not to clash with something. The same thing happened during the Champions League final. Rapino is the kind of person who spends her time letting everyone know how oppressed she is when she isn’t. Where she could have been a great ambassador for her sport I reckon she puts a lot of people off instead. I don’t like her. But that wasn’t the point of my post.… Read more »


It’s not about how the FIFA prize money is split. It’s what the Men’s team and the Women’s team are paid by US Soccer – their employer – who seems to be paying more to employees of one gender than the other. The FIFA bonuses are paid on top of that.

Should the Men’s team achieve some measure of success and get some of the FIFA pot, they will likely make much more money in the end, even if the Women do achieve “equal pay”.

Drogheda Gunner

Women’s football is shit


Yes, yes you did. USMNT brings in $6 billion in total revenue v. $131 million for the USWNT. Of this amount the men get paid 7% to the women’s 20%.
As far as the idea that the women’s players are as good as the men is absurd. The USWNT lost to a group of under 14s boys from Dallas.


Could you pls provide source for this claim?


She will show more fight than Ozil


Lot of wooooosh .i think he refer to ozil new hairstyle who look like to Rapinoe hairstyle ffs Lighting up And no . only the woman national team is making more money than the US man team. the MLS is making way more than the the woman version.the MLS is one of faster growing league in the world .the Woman version have see many team going under last few year because they arent making any money And before you go all mad . yes woman US national team considerate their success off and on should at least make equal pay… Read more »


You’re right that some people need to lighten up.


Xhaka Captain, Holding vice captain

And that’s enough. This 5 captain nonsense is the reason no one takes responsibility for the shitshow.

Reese Stanley



Jenks as captain? Possibly a good move. “we run north London” fits him well

Anders Limpar

If we have to have 5 surely Big Papa would be a shoe in! Certainly leads on the pitch more than most of them do at the moment.

Drogheda Gunner

They should make papa captain and in 2-3years when he leaves there should be a clear choice. Papa leads from the back and puts his heart into every game.


Filling the gap with an Englishman, whilst naming no Englishman that departed. British maybe, but not English.


We need a left back, and there’s a top quality player for sale cheaper than Tierney, and comes with a ton of Champions League, Premier League, and even World Cup experience. Danny Rose for 20m would be a terrific signing.


As much as Arsenal fans would love a repeat of the Campbell scenario, Rose isn’t the kind of player you wanna risk things for. Not one of their best players, feels dispensable to them, talks a lot of s**t about Arsenal, he’s 29 and he’s not available for free. Thanks, but no thanks


He’s a twat. No thanks.


Tierney feels like a bigger risk; seems to be very injury prone. And at least Rose knows Premier League football. Plus he’s cheaper than Tierney anyway, better than Kolasinic, can play twice a week unlike Monreal, he would undoubtedly improve our team. Yes he’s a twat on the pitch but you don’t win anything with 11 angels. Zaha dives every week like a twat but we wouldn’t say no to him either.

Forest gooner

We should build our team around Ozil in play 4-2-3-1. Prerequisite for that is having players who make off the ball runs around Ozil. RB-Bellerin- remember the Leicester game? RW- AMN good at making runs into spaces with speed. Last season he was a bit constrained by defensive duties. LB- Kola- that pass from ozil and run from kola against Burnley… LW-Auba- as it would help accommodating Laca in the middle. Xhaka torreira in the middle should look to cover spaces left behind by wingers&full backs. And look to sniff out any counter attack from opposition. Moreover Xhaka is excellent… Read more »


The someone man marks Ozil the what no plan B.. too easy




Sokratis should be the captain end of


Personally I think we ought to ditch this five captains nonsense.

Holding to take the armband with Bellerin as deputy.

I’ve always felt that a defender should e.g. the captain as they have the benefit of being able to see the whole game in front of them and are able to freely move on the pitch in order to give direction (more than a goalkeeper)


Would rather Sokratis takes captain that Xhaka. Understand Xhaka has some of the attributes as captain but really don’t want another excuse to have him playing every week. For me he isn’t good enough for a team with CL ambitions. My 5 would be Sokratis, Leno, Monreal, Bellerin and Torriera. Though more a fan of the old fashioned club and vice captain set up than the shared role.


If there’s anything our recent history of captains should have taught us, it’s that being captain doesn’t guarantee you a starting berth. In general, fans wildly overstate the importance of on-field captaincy and understate the role played by a captain behind the scenes. The latter isn’t visible to fans, but I would have thought it clear that the off-field role of a captain is practically speaking more important. They’re a *club* captain, not a *first XI* captain. If Xhaka has the right personality to lead the squad, then there should be no problem with making him the captain. If he… Read more »


I understand the point but for me I prefer the captain to be one of the first names on the team sheet. Being a key player adds weight to the voice and hopefully allows them the lead and inspire with performance as well as voice.

In addition I just don’t rate Xhaka and would rather we moved him on. Can’t see how a player that makes so many costly mistakes can get in the team let alone lead it


Any update on the Koscielny issue?


There will be plenty on another post, I’m sure.


As a yank who has followed the prem closely since 2006, the English interest in captains baffles me. Who cares? Just pick the player with the most appearances or some shit.

Wearing an armband doesn’t make you a leader (as arsenal fans can well attest).

Our problem has been that we dont have enough of the hard-ass scary leader types, not that we picked the wrong one.


Bellerin. Holding.


He says English player but describes Bellerin more than holding ?‍♂️


Last year [Granit] Xhaka, Mesut [Ozil] and Nacho [Monreal] were working as captains. But after Aaron Ramsey and Petr Cech left – and possibly Laurent Koscielny – I will want more.

I assume blogs has added the ‘and possibly Laurent Koscielny’ here? Or did Emery say that?


I don’t see the point. I don’t understand this 5 captain thing. There needs to be accountability. IMO experience counts most and preferably someone close to the backline who can shout and help organise defensively. Captains for me Granit AND Sokratis. Vice captain I would strong consider Leno. If we want an English player none of them have sufficient seniority or experience first team at the moment. It can wait a bit. Other potential vice-captain IMO is Monreal if he should stay with us one more season. Hopefully he can do a Sagna for us. The experience of these players… Read more »


I agree. If it was such a good idea, they’d all be doing it…


I’d give Alex Iwobi a go. He plays for Nigeria, but for the captain’s job he’s as English, and as Arsenal, as any of them. Haven’t ever seen him leading, but there’s a good reason why Emery wants to share the job between five, which is to try people out and find out who believes in themselves as a leader, or can learn to.


Other clubs appoint their captain/deputy without all this palava – seems to work for most of them, doesn’t it?


Not sure why Emery persists with the whole “5 Captains” idea. If it is so good, we wouldn’t be the only club (as far as I know) who use it, would we? Far better to stick to a club/team captain and a deputy. Two players. OK, Xhaka is now the captain and, if he has to be English, then Holding as his deputy. As Chambers and Jenkinson are both on the exit list, if we can find buyers which is proving to be tricky, it’s probably not worthwhile considering either of them. Maitland-Niles is one for the future, I think.… Read more »

P j

A captain should lead from the back….

Chris O.

It’s sad to me that this article doesn’t mention Iwobi, and yes, I don’t care which international team he plays for, he’s English.

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