The backlash over Granit Xhaka being named Arsenal captain is far and wide, anyone typing his name on Twitter or checking out the comments on here cannot fail to see the negative reaction.
A quick check of the latest Arsenal news and you get hit with headlines like “Arsenal’s captain selection process was ‘pathetic’ – David Luiz is the best man” that is a beauty from Paul Merson in his Daily Star Column and this one from Martin Keown via the Daily Express “‘He has got it wrong’ – Emery told the Arsenal star he should have made captain over Xhaka” who wanted Alexandre Lacazette named captain.
But the thing is this, a small little fact that the former Arsenal players turned paid pundits forget, it was the actual players that voted for Xhaka, that has been confirmed by Emery himself, who said,
“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,” Emery said. “The most important thing is to stand up in each moment, go ahead and [for him] to show his quality, with his behaviour, with his commitment and in the dressing room the players voted for him as the first.
Now, I am not sure how to dress that up any clearer, the players themselves wanted Xhaka. I do not know what they see in him but they train with him every day, they know his character, they know about his mistakes and how he slows the game down and yet, they still chose him.
The likes of Keown and Merson should respect that, being former players themselves, I mean, what choice did Emery really have? He simply cannot go against the wishes of his players.
Calling the process pathetic is a strange one as well because it is the exact process that Pep Guardiola used at Man City, are the likes of Merson criticising Guardiola as well? of course, they are not.
Emery gave the players the choice, they chose Xhaka, they must know something more than the rest of us and we have to respect their decision. It is as simple as that.