Unai Emery has explained in-depth why he finally made the decision to appoint Granit Xhaka club captain.
The situation has been rumbling on since the summer and the departure of Laurent Koscielny, but despite the Frenchman leaving on August 8th, it’s taken the best part of two months for the Spaniard to officially replace him.
His choice of the Swiss international comes at a time when the player’s relationship with the fans is in a difficult period, with frustrations over his on-pitch errors causing some friction.
However, after allowing his players to vote for their own choice, Emery made Xhaka captain and at his press conference this afternoon he explained why.
“First, he is mature and he has experience and we are all living all the time under pressure, under criticism as coaches, as players, as a club,” he said.
“The most important thing is to stand up in each moment, go ahead and to show his quality, with his behaviour, with his commitment and in the dressing room the players voted for him as the first.
“After, I spoke with him and we want to change that opinion outside because that respect that he has inside the dressing room is very, very important.
“Each match for him, for me, for everybody, is a very good opportunity to show our capacity.
“I trust and believe in him and he is a good man, a good professional and a good player. Sometimes he has made a mistake, yes, but the most important thing is to analyse, to learn and to correct that in the future.
“His challenge, and our challenge, is to change that opinion and above all, show personality and improve in each match and give us his help every time.
“The first match is on Monday at Manchester United.”