In an odd turn of events, Arsenal somehow managed to outrage their long-serving captain Laurent Koscielny so much so that he ran away from the club as fast as he could. It is still unclear what truly transpired between the Frenchmen and Arsenal; rumours regarding wages were leaked as were stories surrounding Koscielny’s family problems.
All that we know now is that Arsenal were not prepared for his departure. Unai Emery did not anticipate the experienced defender leaving, which he may use as an excuse. But that does not explain how he has got himself in a position where no individual in his squad seems to be able to steer the ship.
Because of this, Unai Emery was faced with the tough decision of picking his favourite out of a bad bunch. It’s also hard not to acknowledge the fact that Emery could have easily avoided this situation- tying down players like Petr Cech and Aaron Ramsey for at least another season would have allowed somewhat of a natural transition regarding the captaincy.
With none of the players within the Arsenal squad looking like captain material, all eyes were on Emery. The club’s fans were uniquely quiet as far as who they thought should be their new leader. One thing that’s for sure is that they knew who they didn’t want as their captain. No one at Arsenal has been criticised more for his actions and stupidity on the pitch than Granit Xhaka.
So, therefore Arsenal’s captaincy is still being discussed. Emery picked the only player that would manage to continue the conversation around Arsenal’s leader. For all the mistakes Emery has made during his time at Arsenal, this is by far the worst. Xhaka constantly gets sent off meaning he will be unable to lead his team out half the time. In fact, many could make the case that Xhaka simply doesn’t have the technical ability to get into the starting eleven itself.
Of course, with this decision, Arsenal fans took to social media. Again, they had little to say about who they felt should have been given the armband. The result of this was a poll that allowed fans to pick their captain from the entire squad. Unsurprisingly, nobody stood out. The winner with 30 percent was Rob Holding. Simply due to his time at the club, this might be a sensible choice.
When considering who is the true warrior within the side is, you can look no further than their newest acquisition Kieran Tierney. Verging on becoming the new Celtic captain before his departure, Tierney has all the qualities to send anyone into battle. However, given that he has just arrived and is currently not fully fit, it would be irresponsible to give Tierney the captaincy.
Ex-players and pundits have also struggled to come to a decision about who they feel should have been given the armband. John Hartson chucked Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s name into the mix because of his good nature and positive attitude.
Should we be considering Arsenal’s attacking players? What about Mesut Ozil? Not only has he played with the club for a good number of years now but he also could have left whenever he wanted. Bigger teams than Arsenal know the quality the German has and Ozil knows they’d welcome him with open arms. Constantly being criticised by his own fans hasn’t prevented him from playing for the badge. One must consider, is he the most mature player at Arsenal?