Sunday, December 5, 2021

Xhaka to provide column for matchday programme..but not captain’s notes

Arsenal’s official matchday programme for tomorrow’s clash with Burnley will not include the traditional notes from the captain because Unai Emery is yet to make a decision on who should take over from Laurent Koscielny.

It was widely anticipated that whoever filled the editorial void left by the Frenchman would be appointed his successor to the armband but instead, Granit Xhaka will provide a column under the ghoulish title ‘a voice from the dressing room’.

Unai Emery has said that he’d like to appoint up to five captains for the upcoming season with the Swiss, Mesut Ozil and Nacho Monreal taking up three of the spots.

The Spaniard has also suggested that he’d like an English voice to play a prominent role, however, because the transfer window remains open for clubs on the continent he seems to be waiting until he is 100 per cent sure who will make up his squad before making a final decision.

Xhaka gave an interview to Arsenal Player earlier in the week, in which he said: “I missed this place if I’m honest. I missed the guys, I missed the ball and it’s exciting to be back and working again to make a great season.

“I think this season won’t be easy, but we know each other more and the coach knows the players better. We know him, what he wants, the mentality of the staff and as I’ve said before, I’m so excited because this is the second year now under Unai Emery and we want to make a good season this year.”

We suspect it’s this chat that has made it into print.

Not having a confirmed captain isn’t a huge deal, but at the same time, we’re not really sure why Emery is dilly-dallying over the appointment.

Personally, we’re sad that Gunnersaurus has been overlooked as a temporary captain. But there we go.

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Bacary Lasagna

Gunnersaurus is the captain Arsenal deserves, but not the one it needs right now


You’ll never sing that
You’ll never sing that
Mascot World Champion
You’ll never sing that

I hope this does a round tomorrow for our true inspiration.


Xhaka is the obvious choice, from what I’ve read he’s a model professional who leads by example.

He comes across as a mature guy, and speaks well in interviews, and in-spite of some glaring deficiencies in his game, mainly acceleration, agility and concentration, he’s still without doubt our best midfielder, and also our most experienced.

Surprised by the holdup, I can’t see any other obvious candidates.


Xhaka is the best captain option in our squad without being the one of the better midfield options.

Vermaelen, Arteta, Koscielny…. If Emery wants to move Xhaka on within a season, it makes complete sense to gjve him the armband


He’s brainless sometimes . Makes clumsy mistakes and spoke last that arsenal is not his final destination. Arsenal needs a camptain who’s willing to give all to the club not thinking of moving . . He costed us vs Brighton to get 3 points.


Who has not cost us? Torreira also made mistakes in midfield leading to goal last season against Soton away, West Ham, United. AND in the cup final. Cebellos has yet to find both his feet. GUendouzi and Willock young and will also make mistakes. You are typically putting a player under the microscope and looking for faults. He has improved a lot last season. Sure not perfect but there is a reason why he starts for us. Against Newcastle, he made two superb passes from deep, one over the top inch perfect to Monreal which opened up only for Mhki… Read more »


Best captain option based on what?


He is not the best captain option but to me its between him and Sokratis.

And my criteria would be organizational plus experience voice for the younger players to hold it together when things are not going right.

A Gorilla

Holding. Rob Holding


Too inexperienced and a tad too young yet I think. One (but not one of five, hopefully) for the future though.


Doesn’t make a shit of a difference who is captain, as long as everyone does their job. One man isn’t going motivate another grown man into putting in more effort.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

What does make a difference in a bad way is the five-captain system. Don’t know why Emery is insisting with it. Where were these captains when we lost four easy games from which one win could have made us achieve top four? The objective of the entire season was top four and the five captains did not even give their own individual performances to start with.

Dave M

But does it? The one captain system hasn’t worked for a fair bloody while at Arsenal either. Why not give 5 a go until we are sure we got proper captain?!


Barcelona have a 4 captains system and I don’t see it doing them any harm. We also don’t have any obvious “captain” figure who is irreplaceable on the pitch. It doesn’t make a jot of difference.


You’re deluded if you disagree with me, it’s just an armband. Having one guy shouting and screaming at other players won’t increase performance levels, it’s all from the manager and their individual output.


If you’re trying to suggest that people can’t inspire or otherwise positively influence each other on the pitch, then you haven’t got a scooby.


“You’re deluded if you disagree with me”

internet comments in a nutshell, there.


You can’t argue a case against it but you can take time out of your day to make a useless comment. I’m open to a discussion.


Roy Keane, European Cup semi final away in Turin. Beg to Differ


Make him captain, add 10 million euros to price tag, sell him next season to one of the Milan clubs. Use the money to get Ceballos. Everybody’s happy.


I love Nacho, but he’s not going to be playing enough to be captain. And the idea of Ozil as a leader is bizarre. So Xhaka it is, by default more than anything…


Why doesnt anyone want a captain that shows actual passion. someone like lacazette?


I don’t think many people actually “want” Xhaka as captain to be fair…

High gooner

I think Xhaka is captain material, the question is if he will play that often.. Laca would actually be a good option (especially if its true that he signed a new deal).. I wouldnt be surprised if Papa was also included in the captains group..

Dave M

One thing we can confirm is Xhaka is campaigning hard for the captaincy. Let’s hope that translates to his form!


Cart before the horse, isn’t it? Surely a Captain as the leader on the pitch should inspire others – the way Xhaka is playing may be many things, inspirational it is not.


This Captain thing is starting to look silly, I don’t know why we try to complicate things. Just pick a Captain/S and be done with it. By the way this multiple Captain thing is very silly, When there all playing who will lead the others if there five of them.


That’s a silly question, the one with the armband!


Agree. This sort of delay over the appointment of a Captain/Vice Captain makes us appear amateurish. It was the same over all the “5 Captains” nonsense as you say. Innovation is one thing, pursuing some idea that nobody else uses (as far as I know) just looks daft.

A Captain is supposed to be a “natural leader” on the pitch. I may have missed something, but I don’t think we’re over-burdened with these at present, are we? Therefore, it shouldn’t take Emery too long to come to a decision.


I think we just have a number of players who have the leadership skills to be the captain, ex. Monreal, Xhaka, Sokratis, but they are not necessarily going to be playing every week, so Emery wants to have a hierarchy in place to cover all his bases on match day. The media and the fans are making too much of it, imho. Real leaders are going to lead regardless of who’s wearing the armband.


Last decent captain we had was Arteta. It was a while ago. That is scary.


Per Mertesacker should be our captain from the bench.

Bai Blagoi

Want an English captain? Hector Bellerin!


Its good he is working for the captaincy


As I said before, Sokratis and Xhaka for captain and vice.

Then Leno and Monreal (as back ups) but if the Spaniard is sold then maybe Lacazette.

Prefer players at the back for organization in defensive phase.


If Granit is carrying a knock, I’d start Torreira. Don’t think we need BOTH Willock and GUendouzi at home so they can take turns or Cebellos can cycle in for some minutes to further find his footing.

Ease Ozil back in again as well. The sooner he plays the better. Ditto Kolasinac.


Gunnersaurus is the longest serving team member now afterall.. He deserves it as also the last team member to win a trophy


Honestly, don’t we think this coach somehow brings confusion to the team in an avoidable way? What’s real big deal in a normal thing? What was the outcome last year? Just that nothing in nothingness!

Pablo pomreas

“Leadership groups” are pretty common in Australian sports (AFL, rugby league etc) but it is rarely referred to as “5 captains”, even though that is essentially what it means. One of the group is captain and leads on match day if he plays. If he is out, someone else from the group takes on that role. It’s not confusing or silly as I’m hearing a bit of on here. It actually makes a lot of sense when you’re playing 50+ games a season and 2 or 3 games a week at times. You’ll never have 1 guy playing every match.… Read more »


Emery already stated he’s not picking his captains until the transfer window closes in Europe

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