Monday, May 20, 2024

Emery: Xhaka situation is now closed

Unai Emery has expanded on the decision to strip Granit Xhaka of the captaincy, but says the situation is now closed as far as he’s concerned.

Ahead of tomorrow’s Europa League clash with Vitoria, the Arsenal boss revealed he’d told the Swiss international of his intention to remove him from the ‘leadership group’, and that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would now be considered the club captain.

However, after providing that information, he insisted there was nothing more to say about it as the Gunners look to try and find some form again on the pitch.

“He is not today here,” he said in reference to Xhaka, “but also I think we need to take time with him, first to protect him and also to be calm and training with us every day.

“I was speaking with him this morning and also I decided he’s not one of the captains in our group and I decided that and I told him this morning.

“He accepted my decision and also I told the captain and other captain my decision, we need to carry on and to focus on tomorrow’s match and Saturday’s match.

“I needed to take one decision, and now it is closed.”

And the Spaniard also confirmed that Aubameyang would now be the man to take on the armband.

“We have now Aubameyang, Hector, Lacazette and Ozil – they are the four captains, and first is now Aubameyang.”

Whether this was Emery’s decision alone, or one that was made above him after a week and more of indecision, I suppose we’ll never know.

Nevertheless, we have to move on now, the decision has been made, and Auba’s first game as official captain will come in the must-win trip to Leicester on Saturday.

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

“I needed to take one decision and now it’s closed”

His one and only decision


Emery’s PR guy – Look, you’re really coming under criticism for being indecisive. You need to show the fans you’re in charge.

Emery – Ok. (Pause) You think I’m in charge though right?


As a micro experiment, this whole saga clearly shows the reason why Emery is fundamentally not a top manager, and never will be.

Regardless of what line of work you’re in, if you cant make clear and decisive decisions, no matter how big or small, you will never succeed as a manager.

Case and point


Sounds like he’s taking credit for something Xhaka did here (likely resigning the position) rather than making a decision himself.

My Arse-nal

Not sure how you came to that from reading this article?


I think the change of instagram picture could (and I say could) mean Xhaka already knew and accepted that was it for his captaincy (say what you want about him but he’s not stupid)… which made the official decision an easy one to take.


If you have an agenda against everything the man does then it’s an obvious conclusion to reach it would seem.


I really want Auba to succeed but sadly can’t shake the feeling that with Emery still in charge he’s doomed to fail.

Thierry Bergkamp

The captains armband curse to continue. Aubameyang sold end of the season after refusing to sign a new contract


If Auba’s really captain material he will squash the captain’s curse effortlessly lol


To be fair i don’t disagree with any of these as captains now


With Emery in charge he won Golden Boot


Despite Emery in charge he won the Golden Boot.

Man Manny

…but yours remains open until the now inevitable hammer falls…on you.

Q3 Technique

Granit Xhaka = a poor man’s Xavi Alonso.

He’s not a bad player but in the ultra mobile, high pressing, fast environment of the current premier league all of his limitations are being ruthlessly exposed and made plain to see.

Cliff Bastin

Registas in the mould of Xabi Alonso and Pirlo are meant to calm everybody the fuck down when they receive the ball from centre backs before launching diagonal. Xhaka lacks the composure and footwork to protect the ball/dribble past players and the positional sense when we are defending.

If I was an opposition manager I’ll have “Xhaka receiving the ball’s as the trigger to press.


In the same way Pirlo may have struggled in the EPL. Xhaka is a highly gifted passer with a perfectly adequate first touch, but he lacks a bit of agility and there is no other league which will expose that weakness like this one.

Cultured determination

Alonso had maschereno the destroyer BESIDE him and not miles above him at the edge of the box.

It’s simple. Like a debt collector. You have 1 talker to convince the debtor to pay up, while another muscleman stands beside him, silently with arms folded and looking mean. You dont see the talker taking a back seat while the muscleman teadhes the house before negotiation/ discussion.

Dave M

Four captains of arsenal sitting on a wall, for captains of arsenal, if one of those captains happens to fall there’ll be three captains of arsenal on the wall…


(shaking hands)

A Gorilla

We must take one moment for this process, and continue to develop that process in our moment, every time to improve and oh fuck it I’ve gone mad


Please admin add laughter emoji here.



My Arse-nal

At least Emery didn’t take the easy option this time and keep Xhaka as captain. He took his time with the decision and maybe it also came from above, but at least it is now resolved and hopefully everyone can now move on for the better of the club.


But he did take the easy option though. Satisfy the crow and revoke a decision that took him months to gather the courage to take and probably regretted right away.


Didn’t you see Gladiator? Win the crowd and you’ll win your freedom (or in this case keep his job)


Crowd wants his freedom!! 😀


Who is this crow? And is this unpleasant, harsh-noise-making avian the only thing that is satisfied with Emery?


“to gather the courage to take”

You’re making stuff up. Man City also elected their captain democratically.


Exactly…anyone else trying ring extra angst out of how long it took for the decision to take should probably rethink their priorities in life.


No way was this just Emery’s decision…

It’s a good one though I believe


Seems more like his hands were pushed by the board.


His hands are pushed in a lot of other matters except the captaincy decision (Maybe thats why it seems he is not in control and in reality he isn’t but he has to man up and face the media). The whole coach and footballing structure is proving too intrusive for him. I feel there is a lot of meddling from leadership (Raul, Vinai, Edu and Josh) on footballing things such as stuff axing Ozil and stripping Xhaka of captaincy along with blooding more and more youngsters (which is understandable).

SB Still

Emery’s track record at Arsenal suggests he is indecisive, the captaincy appointment is one of the examples.

First saying he’ll appoint 5 captains (too large a num to start with), then he took his time (potentially waiting for Monreal’s move but could have easily planned with that in mind), then having a player’s vote, again delayed the decision, then Xhaka lasted as captain for just matter of weeks – just like the starting XI he picks, usually only lasts upto halftime!


“He accepted my decision and also I told the captain and other captain my decision…”



He’s missed out two captains there. I bet they’re livid.


Men stand by their decisions. Too easy, Unai. Too easy. We see right through you.

SLC Gooner

The captain issue might be resolved, but the Xhaka issue isn’t. If he continues to play Xhaka as the main DM, we’re going to continue to have issues with that position.
And the larger Emery issue isn’t sorted either. Obviously Xhaka wasn’t even in the team during the most recent pathetic performance, so it’s pretty hard to blame the situation on him.


Judgements about Xhaka’s ability as a footballer aside, this seems like the wrong decision to me. Xhaka is popular among the players, and a positive force it seems, in the dressing room. Emery should have stuck with his man in my opinion. Organize a presser with Xhaka and Emery together answering questions and put the issue to bed.


But the crowd was out for blood and Emery has made an easy sacrifice… he’s trying to save his own job after all, which is plain to see. I am good with Auba, I just hope Emery doesn’t get any credit for this decision.


Pardon me, this might be out of topic, but I’ve just finished reading a piece on Marcelo Gallardo (River Plate’s coach) and found it not only interesting but fascinating too.
Blog can you kindly do a write up on him and Ajax coach (I had he’s on most elite European club’s sight) in comparison with other probably eligible coaches for our club?
I believe Emery is next in line to be sacked and we should discuss/debate future possibilities.
Hope I’m forgiven for digressing?


Man, this whole captain issue has surely given another blow to my enjoyment of following Arsenal. For the record, I thing the sensible solution would have been to have named Auba from the start, but what has happened is simply too much. On top of having watched week after week of boring, confusing football I had to watch this catastrophe unfold… the 5 captains, the indecision, the vote, the decision, the fans unhappy, the incident, the stripping, the four captains…

I admit I have started following Arsenal when Wenger was already there. Now I don’t know what this is anymore.


Let him go if he is willing to leave. I am worrying about arsenal goal and some of young player need to more improve. Arsenal should repair Goal and defending. At the last match with Liverpool, we can see weakness of goal and defending.

Thierry Bergkamp

Shortest captaincy in history? Maybe


You know what else needs to close Unai?

The door on your way out!

Prince Gunneralaysia

Closed won or closed lost?

Kentish Gooner

Ozil as captain no.4 still after being cast aside for the past couple of months is laughable. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Mesut but the handling of the club at the moment is an absolute joke. Emery is well out of his depth – still doesn’t know his best 11 in their ACTUAL positions after 18 months. I’m sure he’d be a great manager at a Spanish club that isn’t one of the top three, as proven at Sevilla, but he clearly can’t communicate with the majority of our squad and we have to rely on Aubu’s… Read more »


The fans must also take ownership of their part in the Xhaka situation. The way he was being targeted for vitriol wasn’t honourable.

We were always London’s most distinguished club, rising above the rest of the riff-raff with our class and dignity. Let’s keep it that way.

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x