Monday, July 22, 2024

Emery gets squad to vote for their preferred captains

Rob Holding has revealed that Unai Emery has put Arsenal’s captaincy to a secret ballot with the players each putting forward their nominations for the positions up for grabs.

The boss has said all summer that he’d like to have a small team who share the role, but up to this point, we’ve assumed it would be he and the coaching staff making the final decisions.

Having delayed the decision until the closing of the second transfer window and then postponing an announcement by another few weeks, we’re expecting the results to be announced imminently.

“We had a vote the other week so we’ll see what happens and see who gets named,” Holding told after the 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest.

“[We had to] write names down and then give them to the manager. He will go through them obviously with his input and then we’ll see what happens.

“I don’t know [when the decision will be announced]. I think it will be in the next couple of days, or weeks. I have no idea.

“If I get it, then I’ll be more than happy and honoured to do it.”

As far as we’re aware, this is the first time the captaincy has been decided in this way in the club’s history.

We’ll certainly be interested to see who gets the nod and if anyone gets demoted. Is this a case of Unai passing the buck?

So far this season Granit Xhaka, Nacho Monreal (now departed) and Mesut Ozil have worn the armband with Rob Holding taking over from the latter when he was subbed on Tuesday.

Could Granit (an Emery favourite) and Mesut (not an Emery favourite), who both looked nailed on for the role, miss out? (They probably won’t) If they do, how might it affect their status within the squad?

We’ll find out soon enough.

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Hope Aubameyang gets given the armband. If he has to have five then Lacazette, Holding, Bellerin and Guendouzi would be my other choices to complete the set

Maul Person

Guendouzi? Steady on!


Will be a mainstay of the team for years to come. Showed more leadership on Sunday than most of our players have for years. It’s a little crazy perhaps… but not that crazy

Maul Person

I don’t disagree. I’m just not sure that means he’s captain material NOW. He still has elements of his game (and lesser extent behaviour) that he needs to sort out. But one for the future? He’s definitely up there.


Guendouzi may be a big talent but he’s still too young and he strops too much around referees.


Very weak move from the Manager. Soon players will vote for starting 11?

Maul Person

If it gets Xhaka out of the starting 11 for a bit, that might be the way to go!


Not so sure- Xhaka has been a respected figure in the dressing room.

The players don’t share the knives out philosophy of some of the support.


He’ll hold a referendum first which will screw things up for the next three years at least.

Dave M

Maybe an online fan poll to add some more data to the decision making process?

Floppy Gloves

Captain McCappy Face FTW

God is a Gooner

Can we let Brussels decide?

Harry Sunderland

Yes but he doesn’t have to actually pick who is most popular. Could be a good way to judge the squads opinion of who should lead them.


Maybe they should let the fans vote before each game

Better the Devil You Know

I like that idea. And starting lineups?? Transfers??


How dare employees have some say in how their workplace operates! The shame!


Can the players also vote to decide on the style of play,tactics and organization? Please?!


Does longevity mean nothing these days? Give it Emi Martinez and be done with it.

Naked Cygan

How about the manager grow some balls and pick a capitan?


He has none.


Some cojones you mean


Those have been shaped into an odd-looking head and placed on Troy Deeney’s shoulders.


Deeney has a nut sack of a face


and a face on his nutsack

Dave M

and that face on his nut sack also looks like a nutsack


Who’s face


I like the idea. The players know better than any manager, who they want as captain, and respect enough to lead the team on and off the field. I don’t agree with 5 of them though.


Sailors won’t do us much good

Professor Gooner

As much as I love Auba, not sure he’s 1st captain material. Love the fact that he scores regularly but still think Laca is more effective over 90 mins and galvanises players and fans more consistently.

Also believe the captain shouldn’t be based on a popularity contest but on who brings the team together in the on the porch, dressing room and training ground. Basically a winning mentality accepting no excuses for not going for the top stop!


The players have a very good read on “who brings the team together on the pitch etc.” I like this move of Emery’s.

Kartik Iyer

My preferred 5 would be: Auba, Laca, Leno, Hector & Rob. I’d like hector to be the main captain…since he’s the longest serving out of the bunch.


Big hec for the captaincy

Voice of Reason

Not a fan of this. A captain should beca managers spokesperson. These kind of things promote more player power and grouping. And that’s the last thing we need. Can already imagine an Ozil camp and a British camp


I get the first point but how do you know the British are United and at odds with a certain group?

Forest gooner

British are united. Good joke.

Maul Person

The captain also speaks for the team, so who better than someone the team selects. And as suggested from Holding’s quote, Emery will have his say on the submissions so you get the best of both in a sense.


If the players took this seriously and someone came out with a vast majority of votes could it give Emery a good indication of who the players would actually get behind ?
We’ve missed a captain the players actually play for for a long time, maybe this is a different approach that could get us that again.

SB Still

Pep and ManC choose a captain the same way!


But they play the same even if a squirrel gets elected.

A Different George

British camp chooses Bercow. Definitely can make himself heard.


Was it a problem when pep did it at city or mourinho in his first stint at chelsea?



Kran Stoenke

People who down voted this probably think its a good idea to let the players pick their captains. Might as well play without a manager and have the players veto who should play each position, formation and everything. Absolute bollocks


Yeah I guess it didn’t work out well at Man City did it? They might as well play without Pep now?


Shhh everyone is here to moan. Let’s not kill the mood by pointing to how the best team in PL are doing the exact same thing.


‘unai emery and the seven captains’ would make a nice title for a book. maybe his autobiography? i’m assuming the number of captains goes up to seven after the vote.


It sounds more like an Indie band lol


They always make for a big performance

A Different George

They are protagonists in their moments. But also to balance the treble and the bass.


Sounds more like a ’60’s swash buckler with Burt Lancaster.


intro track’s going to be ‘gud ebening’

Ashburton Red

Passing the buck indeed – a bit weak

But perhaps a smart way of bypassing the in-waiting Xhaka and Ozil, and opening up options to Auba, Holding, Bellerin

Interesting to see how this plays out


Weak or sensible? I mean obviously it’s a little bit from column A and a little bit from column B. A lot has happened recently, not least the big bust up in the dressing room after the Watford debacle and maybe that helped the decision to allow the players to choose who they want to follow on the pitch. Sunday wouldn’t have happened in my opinion if some of the players hadn’t decided they weren’t going to lose and especially at home to a newly promoted team. If we start seeing some real leadership on the pitch then that can… Read more »

Ashburton Red

maybe – it’s very welcome to see players taking responsibility for the situation on the pitch, irrespective of an armband – just not sure if off the pitch it should be the case. History shows that nearly every successful set of players are self-motivating/a team full of captains, but also always, always have a strong decisive manager


I agree on Auba, but I do wonder what the extra pressure of being a captain entails. I know he has the armband for Gabon, but I wouldn’t mind him just continuing to focus on putting the ball in the net.

Public Elneny

I think you’re right, no need to jeopardise a good thing. Being captain led to a drop off in form for both Henry and Fabregas if I remember correctly

The leaders in the team will continue to be leaders in all the ways that matter regardless of whether they have to perform this ‘face of the club’ bollocks role

I think Emery is mainly just scared of the fan backlash he’ll get if he gives it to Xhaka


I’m feel really cynical about this. For example, will senior players like Ozil, Xhaka, Luiz vote for someone young like Holding? And what if someone gets very few votes, what will that do for their mentality in the dressing room? 😐 Does feel a bit like Emery doesn’t want to make Xhaka one of the captains, because logically he knows he shouldn’t be the first player in the team, but he’s not authoritative enough to tell him that! So he’s letting the players decide. Very weird move.


It’s a secret ballot

Dave M

A double blind peer review


Emery appears to rate Xhaka much more highly than the fans do


So do the players and so did Wenger. Fans never have to answer for their actions or lack of understanding.


That doesn’t mean the fans are wrong though!

Dave M

And xhaka has been doing a great job at proving the fans right over all these years at arsenal. Wenger thought he was a DM… Turns out he wasnt, emery and Wenger think he is the answer to control epl midfields… Turns out he’s not. Please, show me the evidence that we have moved forward with xhaka as the key piece in our midfield.


Hey man, never said we did.

Dave M

There is one thing for sure about Xhaka – he must be a pretty good character and a good guy. Everyone likes him. I mean that has always been an art-form in getting ahead in life. Get people to like and you convince them your important through your words rather than actions. This isn’t the first time it has worked for someone!


This man is so weak. Just make a decision and give it to one person (Lacazette or Auba) for crying out loud.


I completely agree.


Is pep weak cos he did the same thing


Arsenal’s own mini Brexit. Hopefully they’re not as dumb as UK voters.


…. in your opinion


Arsenal is a haven from politics, for me, please let’s keep it that way!

Ya gooner

The thing about average intelligence is that half pf all people are above it and half are below. I’ll leave it up to you which group of voters are which.


Kano Gooner

The manager doesn’t want to take responsibility, which does not portray him or the club good.


This is great, now we’ll (presumably, if they don5 vite for Mesut and Unai vetoes it!) end up with a captain the playing squad respects and likes and the conversation can be put to bed finally and something more important focused upon, instead.

Kran Stoenke

Can you lot go a day without smack talking ozil? He’s tried his best whenever he came on to play for the shirt, decided to join us from Madrid when a lot of huge clubs were after him, to provide for the likes of giroud and welbeck ffs. There’s always a place to criticise.

Public Elneny

Can you go a day without slagging off Giroud and Welbeck?!


Tried his best.

Never tackles and lazy pressing.

Ed R

I’d give it to Holding. He’s got to be a regular starter going into the rest of the season.

Ya gooner

Lacazette would be my vote hands down followed by auba amd then holding. Laca for me leads by example the most when others are underperforming.


I think we should get tgem to bote who plays against utd the weekend also this could finaly be the way forward


Avoiding responsibility. Would be fun if they voted the kids breaking through. Then we see if he endorses Martinelli, Saka, Willock, ESR and Nelson as his captains


I’d love it if the whole team voted for a player out on loan or something like that, or went all in on Gunnersaurus. Now that’s a captain 🙂

J to the C

Could Emery be passing the buck here to avoid additional scrutiny if he had selects Xhaxa….which looks like he would have?

Ya gooner

We should make xhaka captain only to break the captain leaving curse as no one else wants him.

Arctic Marauder

He’s not passing the buck if he has a secret vote to get the players honest private opinion, and then makes a public decision himself.

Also judging by what people here are writing there is noone who stands out as a clear cut captain. Emery probably has ideas, but I like him gathering information from the most reliable source in this topic, the players. I think it’s on par with current management philosophies as well, in other work life, to both base decisions on knowledge rather than ego, and use employee participation to create self drive and motivation.


Thank you everyone, the votes are in and Arsenals new captain is…. Glenn Helder?! Seriously you guys.

I do not think players should vote a captain in. I feel a captain should instil a team ethos unto players, not players instilling an ethos unto a team.


But with a secret vote when the captains are selected there is the sense of having the support of both your managers and your fellow players.

I don’t necessarily think it’s always the best way, but I see some of the logic.


And somewhere along the line the players are made part of the process and just not told “and your captain is”. Part of the process means some responsibility for the outcome, with the goal of more togetherness? Trying to be positive any decision, but it really seems to be dragging on.


This whole topic reminds me of those Captain Morgan ads where everyone says “Captain” to each other at the front door.


Aubameyang, Ozil, Xhaka, Holding, Bellerin.


Ozil is not a captain type, sorry.


Only the players can tell.


This is getting embarrassing. Just name a fucking captain and vice captain, man. Or perhaps the other 19 teams have got it wrong.


The final decision lies with the manager. This is an exercise in understanding how the group of players feel. Knowledge is power. Pls choose Rob Holding!!!


If he’d done this in his first season when he barely knew the team I’d have understand that. But he’s here for 15 months now and if he doesn’t know who’s respected within the team and who would do a good job as a captain, I seriously doubt his ability to assess people and even more his ability to make decisions that are maybe a bit unpopular within the fan base. It’s quite embarrassing, if you ask me.


I just had this thought that perhaps Emery has got the players to decide who are the captains because their contracts are longer than his and he knows they will be at the club after he has left…I mean it’s a thought albeit a weird one.

Maul Person

With what looks like a clear dislike of Ozil, what if he’s one of the top names? But then, how would anyone know unless he goes through the names with the team.

While it is nice for the team to select their leader, this is a bit odd by Unai. As others have said, he’s not taking responsibility. And of course, 5 captains anyway is dumb. As long as Auba and Holding are on that list and Xhaka isn’t, I’ll be alright.


Captain Morgan at this rate.?‍☠️


This is a cop-out…by a head coach hire who is afraid of a team mutiny if he proceeds with his own choice of a captain.


The only thing it tells me is that Emery, as most of us, reckons a lack of leadership in this team. And that he is trying to make more players feel responsible for the group.

As long as they deliver on the pitch, I could not care less about this discussion. There is only one armband anyway.


Plot twist: Ozil gets the most vote

Would be funny to see Emery’s reaction if that happens


It’s a clever way for the manager to distance himself from the inevitable backlash when he decides to appoint his favourite, Xhaka. Weak leadership from Emery, the captaincy should of course be somebody that the majority respect, but the head coach must decide this. Alot of Emery’s decisions seem to be borne out not wanting to commit too far either way and ultimately fear (the tactics are neither attacking nor defensively sound and not many can see a distinctive pattern of play). I don’t know what he has to fear though, his contract won’t be extended if he continues like… Read more »


Seriously just choose a fucking captain like every other manager. This whole saga and process is ridiculous. What are they in fucking high school or something?


I support Arsenal partly because they’re not like any other club, in my opinion. Emery has been picking the managers – we’re still lacking leadership. Seems to me that he’s giving the responsibility to the players… who will they listen to? Shrewd move I think.


That should read, ‘Emery has been picking the captains’, of course


All seems a bit Sunday league to me, the whole 5 captains thing is pretty stupid just appoint a captain and vice captain, how hard can it be, he has made an issue out of something when there is no need.

Forest gooner

Auba Leno Laca Hector and Papa


For christ sake Emery, have a backbone and make a bloody decision yourself. This isn’t the Oscars! The captain should be the player who can most readily communicate the game plan of the coach to the rest of the team during the middle of a game, and can do so in such a way that he is listened to. The coach should therefore pick this player as he needs to be able to trust this to his captain, and the link between them is important. This sort of shit might have been fine if that how he was going to… Read more »


Popularity contests are often good for team moral, establishing unity, healthy merit-based incentive, and authority….


I hope this is sarcasm

Kentish Gooner

This is a pathetic decision by Emery. The man has no balls.


No balls? Then a woman perhaps? 5 captains means he’s very complicated. So are women……


Bit daft this. What if Ozil, Kolasinac and Xhaka are three of the most voted players? With Tierney coming in and a more youthful midfield, none of those three are guaranteed starters? Will Emery hold another secret ballot for another 5 vice captains too?

It is such a weak move by Emery.


Emery out


My guess, there’s a few cliques at Arsenal and obviously each one has their main men. Not to say they don’t all just get on with each other anyway, but that’s just how things go. Auba and Laca will be top as they’re big favourites of the French group and everyone else in general. Bellerin will be right up there as the longest serving Spaniard. Chambers and Holding are well regarded by the English lads so they will have a fair share of votes too. If everyone’s allowed 5 votes you’d expect guys like Luiz and Ozil and Xhaka to… Read more »


What a cop out. I think this proves there is no stand out leader amongst the team. No one that wants to reach out, and grab that armband (except maybe Xhaka, and, well, Nooooo). No powerful voice to direct and guide the lads in a strong manner, including the coach. Sigh…

Me So Hornsey

Was I the only one looking for the parody typefont whilst reading this?


Call me old fashioned or anything you like but this is ridiculous .


If choosing a captain is causing headache for months and can’t be solved without a general election amongst players, how are bigger issues (if any) going to be solved?


I know we don’t want political comparisons, but this is just so British at the moment. We have a PM (coach) who couldn’t manage the question himself, so had a vote and we’re now delaying any action because someone didn’t like the answer.

Question is, do they offer the general election first or replay the referendum? In the meantime we wave goodbye to European Champions League.

Just appoint a Captain now! Odds are he’ll be gone by next season anyway.

Maul Person

So what is “just appoint a captain” in your analogy…?


New Speaker maybe?


I think it would be even more apt, if there is essentially a split in vote between all of the players chosen as captains. Then if Emery takes 3 years to give them the armband, at which point many of those who voted have changed their mind, the candidates have left the team or got injured, and we changed manager twice. And at which point, those who voted just wish the manager would have got on with doing what is meant to be his expertise in the first place 😉


Who has the balls? Who has the grit? who’s the most vocal in the dressing room? and on the pitch? Who has a bit of a naughty streak? Who can control a game and change the tempo at will? I wish Torriera was a big lad and spoke better English, I wish David luiz wasn’t such a clown ?




I think we should wait until May to determine who are captain was.


People have differing opinions on this, but I think it’s naff to poll players on who their captain should be. You’re the coach, you decide. To me it shows he’s not in tune with his guys.


You’d like your manager to be able to spot that character himself ideally but seeing as his leading choices are either named Xhaka or Ozil or have left the club this makes sense. The captain should be the most respected one amongst the group. And it’s not like these are kids picking buddies for a school project, you’d expect most if not everyone to nominate who they think earns/deserves the role. I imagine having experienced captains like Arteta, Mertesacker and Koscielny and other leaders like Ramsey and Monreal and Cech around the club in recent years, most players know exactly… Read more »


Liverpool did the same thing didn’t they? Squad vote for one of their captains? Makes sense to me if it’s who the squad feels is the leader?


This nonsense democratization of everything is not needed at the club. The coach knows his players and needs to select the one he knows will serve the interests of the team on and off the pitch.

We really missed a good captain since William Gallas days ffs


Not gonna lie, you have me in the first half. Started laughing when you mentioned Gallas as a good captain though!

A Gorilla

Fucking referendum, again! The universe is stuck on loop loop loop loop code:error


I don’t see anything to suggest the player’s will get the final say on this. It’s a secret ballot and Holding even acknowledges Emery will “obviously” have his own input. I reckon it’s just a useful way to gauge opinion. An opinion poll, not an election. Maybe he’s 50/50 about two players… better this than toss a coin


An “advisory” vote, then?


I see this going badly. An anonymous voting system where each player thinks he’s the only one who’s had the funny idea to vote for Mustafi. Next thing you know he’s won by a landslide and Emery has to answer awkward questions as to why his Captain is not in the team (Just cut and paste the ones he uses for Ozil and should be okay)!


Even more awkward if they use the anonymous system to vote for “Emery out” as captain.


This guy is just a waffle! Ooo I can’t decide… ooo what if I get it wrong? They are going to get mad at me! Gawd


Guendouzi should be one of the captains. He has the spirit, self confidence, hunger and attitude. His role on the pitch is to connect up the play and he has no fear taking on responsibility. Yes he makes mistakes and he’s very young. TA was too when he became captain.

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