Backlash over Granit Xhaka being named Arsenal captain misses one crucial element

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.


  1. Poor choice but not a big deal
    It won’t make any difference to team performance. Emery consulted the players anyway so the players probably want Xhaka to be captain.

    Let’s focus on winning matches
    If we can win matches and remain in 4th place or better then I don’t care who the captain is

  2. I just hope he puts in a captain’s performance on Monday.. no lunges.. he’s bound to get booked though..
    Jeez, i really am nervous about this game…….😬

    1. Hello Sue, there’s nothing to be nervous about. Worse thing to happen is an L. But if Emery cannot slaughter United in this their state then fingers crossed we won’t make top 4 with him as coach. He’s the biggest bottled I’ve seen. On the other issue which is Xhaka as captain, apart from Holding I don’t see a better man. They are all jokers, Auba, Laca, Bellerin? good players but leaders No. Ozil? finished. Holding is my captain, Xhaka should be attain for the rest of you.

      1. Hey there, Gogo! I don’t want to lose 😄
        I’d liked to have seen Laca as captain… but hey the players have chosen… i just hope he (& the other usual suspects) don’t let us down!! COYG

      2. Congratulation to you Granite Xhaka as Arsenal captain, captain at home and captain abroad… congratulation

  3. Apparently off the pitch and the dressing room he is a great example,dishing out fines for phones, punctuality and other things but the problem is that all the time he spends on other teammates and teams affairs could be better used in himself in order to improve!!!

    1. . . . in the dressing room he is a great example,dishing out fines for phones, punctuality and other things. That’s fine – as long as he STAYS IN THE DRESSING ROOM FOR THE ENTIRE DURATION OF EACH MATCH.

  4. Stupid if you ask me. The manager should have picked a player like holding, abba, lacca or even Martinez now there’s a good capi. Great to see him barking out orders in e Europa league game. What is working me is that he’s going to drop my holding for United game. I tell you not sure he’s the full ticket this manager, why change from a water right defence back to one leaking goals for fun, fu….ing crazy. If we lose this on Monday it will be managers fault alone

  5. For goodness sake you don’t let the players choose the captain, it’s Emery’ s job to do that. What next, perhaps he lets them choose the team too. The captain is not there to be liked, he is supposed to be the leader, the one who bollocks players on the pitch. A player to be respected. Have you ever seen him bawling and screaming at other players? No, he just gives an interview afterwards saying he was scared of Watford! He’s pathetic and so is Emery for this farce. Emery out and take Xhaka with you.

  6. The players chose him because who else? There is lack of alternative. But to be fair, credit to him because he tried to be vocal on the pitch and communicates with his team mates. The problem is he isn’t well respected and his leadership sucks. For example I saw he told Kolasinac something in the match and Kolasinac just talked back and his gesture was like f-off. Compare that to Troy Deeney, I saw how he directed his team mate in a footage: his arm around the shoulder, face close, looking at the same direction, and while he was telling him, he occasionally use his other hand to give emphasis or pointing to a specific direction, and most importantly THE PLAYER LISTENING. I’m not a body language expert but after seeing that kind of leadership, I can’t help to think that Xhaka’s leadership is half assed.

  7. Personally,I didn’t want Xhaka but he’s the captain. We should all respect that. Emery doesn’t seem like someone that tolerates shite. He’s just giving xhaka the chance to lead. I don’t think that means he can’t be benched if he’s playing poorly. I hope he(xhaka) uses this as an inspiration to improve.

  8. I can`t imagine Alex Ferguson allowing the players to choose their captain, he would choose him then consult and justify his choice to the dressing room (I think?). Naturally, one who commands the dressing room is important it makes the managers job easier but, he has to command them and encourage them by example on the field of play as well. Myself I`m in no position to offer my opinion but I`ve always considered a mid fielder, especially a play maker of quality to be favourite. If Xhaka fits that bill, so be it ,but, we don`t want any teachers pet

    1. But can you imagine Pep doing it? Because he did, and seemingly 75% of the world consider him one of the best managers of his generation

  9. What some people forget is that you don,t have to wear the armband to be the real captain,the most experienced players shouldn’t need it to bark orders, talk to their teammates and makes decisions when necessary also with 5 captains he is not assumed of playing week in week out which for me is a positive;

  10. Not sure the players picked him at all. The actual wording from Holding was:

    ‘We had a vote the other week so we’ll see what happens and see who gets named. ‘[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.’

    I read that to mean each player wrote his own, private, opinion on who should be made captain with NO ONE KNOWING WHAT THE REST OF THE TEAM HAD WRITTEN.

    These names were then handed to Emery – who did what with them? Chucked them all in the bin for all we know. So please don’t fall for Emery’s ‘the players were consulted’ rubbish. Writing a name on a paper and handing it to the manager, unseen by anyone else, DOES NOT IN ANY WAY MEAN THE PLAYERS WERE CONSULTED. Reminds me of the advert ‘9 out of 10 cats preferred it.’ To what exactly? A steaming pile of dog poo? And one cat chose the poo.

    Be careful and watch carefully how things are written, what is not explicity stated and what is hidden and only implied. So far as I’m concerned the statement ‘The players were consulted’ is just an outright lie dressed up in fancy clothes.

    1. Gunner Jack, absolutely correct with regards to your last paragraph.

      “The players were consulted” is fine and dandy – a good way to get the feel of all the players andI appluad UE for that.

      BUT it doesn’t mean he took any notice of the votes/comments and, if one takes into account the obsession he has with playing Xhaka, the outcome was easy to work out.

      Having said all that and thinking more about the appointment, I believe that it could just be a clever appointment IF this makes Xhaka a more rounded and thinking player, plus his experience, that will help the defence we all want to see: Bellerin-Chambers-Holding-Tierney (with Saliba next season) a very young back four, that will need guidance from their captain.

      1. Wenger made him his captain, the Swiss made him captain, Gladbach made him their captain, Emery made him his captain. Now he begins season with a player process, and you believe they might have went elsewhere and Emery ignored them, on what grounds – because fans don’t want him captain, fans also slagged off Auba, wanted Ozil gone seasons ago, wanted Chambers off the books for free if we had to give him away, wanted to pay someone to take Ramsey with him. Wanted us to pay top dollar for Lemar, said for Litch to take Bellerin’s spot, fans are right and wrong on a lot of things, but most of what they say is in hindsight and they are backing players from their imagination in a theory while comparing them to what they did see. If Emery says that the players were involved and if they had went in another direction, Emery is not stupid he will not ignore that, the players are all gonna talk about who they voted for, players would revolt, he’d lose the dressing room if he done that. Ken, you’re beginning to sound more and more like the type of guy you often argued with in other seasons.

  11. Good piece Admin reporting on the actual facts rather than join in on a backlash with fake news doing the rounds. I didn’t want Xhaka to get it but it stuck with me when I seen it was our players that were involved in the decision making. People wanted to have a crack at Emery and some just wanted to go full barolls on Xhaka. If the fans hadn’t of boo’d Xhaka like that then they might have opted for another, maybe or maybe not, but I do like when players stand up for one another, and Xhaka and Lacazette are two who do that on and off the pitch they get stuck in if someone tries squaring up to an Arsenal player who isn’t looking for confrontation. I like this about them and Kolasinac can be a bit like that too but he is more of a peacemaker than an ..I’ll chin you if you attempt that in front of me.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors