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.