Hard to see the thinking behind latest Unai Emery decision

It has been announced officially, Granit Xhaka is the new Arsenal captain and while it has not come as a huge surprise, it is still a baffling decision.

On paper, it does make sense to name Xhaka the captain, he is Switzerland national captain, was skipper at his previous club in Germany, Borussia Monchengladbach and has been the Arsenal captain most of this season but this decision cannot have been made with what it looks like on paper, it must have been made with what Xhaka is like on the field of player, surely?

If how Xhaka performs and interacts with his teammates has been considered then it makes the decision by Emery to name him the captain even more bewildering, he simply does not deserve it if influence and performance are part of the criteria.

The fans will certainly not like this announcement and who can blame them? Xhaka has been woeful, he has not at any point exuded leadership qualities, it does not even appear that his teammates respect him and his tackling is and continues to be a liability.

He is far more likely to pick up a yellow card than to make strategic decisions on the pitch, I mean, where was his leadership skills in the second half against Watford?

We have to support him of course, he is an Arsenal player but it does not mean that we have to like this one little bit or agree with it and truth be told, even attempt to understand it.

39 Comments

  1. WiserthanWenger says:

    Emery has been bullied hard by Diva Neymar at PSG so here at Arsenal he wants to show who is the boss by making Granit Joker captain , going against the wish of all Arsenal fans , he should pack his bag and go in Jan !

    1. King2 says:

      Against the wishes of all Arsenal fans? And how do you come to that conclusion? Hysterical shouting on the social media is not representative of all Arsenal fans!

    2. gotanidea says:

      Emery didn’t select Xhaka as the captain, but the Gunners did

      The Gunners surely know better than the Gooners, because they are the ones that play with Xhaka every week

      I don’t like the way he plays as well, but now we have to watch him regularly

      1. Asshton says:

        The fact that he was selected by other players doesnt make it a better choice… Una I could have done something else to prevent xhaka from being the captain

      2. fiona buchanan says:

        Hey Gotnoidea !! Xhaka is a very poor player. He is dirty, fouls too much and is a hinderance who is picked very week. Emery and Xhaka will be elsewhere next year.

    3. Godswill says:

      Fans don’t choose a captain. If the players are happy with the choice, fine and good. Emery has said that it does not mean automatic name on team lists.
      What if that can make him to do better? I wish all our players to do well.

      1. gryphon3000 says:

        Emery said? Forgot the game but first time that Xhaka started as captain and was woeful, I think let in or his actions let in a goal and my son said Emery would not sub him because he was the captain and he would not show he had stuffed up with his clueless decision,.how right he was.
        Now he doesnt hold Ozil in high regard so he gets subbed.
        My support for this clueless “manager” is almost gone. No tactics or same tactics regardless of opponent, favourites that would not get a place in a championship side etc

    4. Kenny says:

      Fans had sent Arsene packing. History repeats itself. Results is everything. Emery failed at PSG, he needs to ensure a top 4 in EPL to save his ass.

      1. NY_Gunner says:

        @Kenny
        You keep thinking the fans got rid of AW. Oh delusional one… Some of you self centered ignorant fans need to get over yourselves. The owners and management could care less about your thoughts and feelings. This is a money generated business and your paltry ticket and kit money only keeps the lights on…

      2. David Rusa says:

        Did Emery surely fail at PSG when he won the French League and every other trophy there in his second season? It is true PSG released him after his second season but I think this was prompted by poor results in Champions League. PSG seems to have set themselves a very ambitious target of winning CL which has still eluded them. They are not alone in that target. Man city is also aiming for the same.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Exactly, and Thomas Tuchel is doing no better than Emery at PSG.

  2. Abi says:

    Xhaka has been named our captain, i doubt there is anything anybody can do about it. All i am asking are the below:
    Can he stop picking stupid fouls?
    Can he run to advance the ball forward instead of passing backward? Can he stop baiting opponents for fouls?
    Can he actually make clean tackles instead of fouling opponents that has beat him?

  3. King2 says:

    The players clearly value his leadership qualities and respect him as player, and that is more important than what fans like you demand. The hysterical reaction by some of the fan base is just ridiculous.

    1. the players voted him as their captain, so I do not see what Emery did wrong here. He simply respect the opinion of his players which is a wise decision.

    2. WiserthanWenger says:

      What ” leadership quality ” ? By telling the whole world Arsenal is afraid of Watford ? It’s just like a soldier telling the enemy he is afraid to fight ! And u agree that such a Joker can lead the team ???

      1. RSH says:

        If he does have leadership qualities they are not shown on the pitch neither vocally, or through his play. The fact nobody else was voted shows that there is a leadership problem during the matches, when it matters most. It was Guendouzi who stepped up against Villa and led by example, not Xhaka. And I cannot remember Xhaka ever really stepping up, and rallying the troops. Hate to say it, but Arsenal don’t have true, consistent leader anywhere on the pitch, and Xhaka ended up being the default. That’s what happened. Still, better than Koscienlny.

      2. Godswill says:

        The insiders know better.
        We run down our players and make lose self esteem.

    3. Declan says:

      King2 has obviously never been to the Emirates. If he had he would realise the strength of feeling against Xhaka.

    4. AndersS says:

      @king2
      Exactly right.
      The players voted for him to be captain, AW picked him all the time, UE picks him all the time and he is highly rated internationally. So maybe we ought to see some more support for him also here.
      I wouldn’t bet on it though.

  4. mayert says:

    A player who is “afraid” of a meager Watford (that was banged 8 goals) is made ARSENAL captain!!!

    This Emery guy is just a joke…

    1. Loose Cannon says:

      thats the reason from day one I wanted Unai out of AFC.We are a club fighting for honors not a club fighting for survival in a 2 horse race.Brandon Rodgers nearly won Pool the EPL, Rafa won the UCL, Anchelotti won so much, they were the right men for AFC not Unai.Next what do we hear?Scared of Unt reserves?

  5. Godswill says:

    Fans don’t choose a captain. Stop slating our players.
    If That’s their choice, as an Arsenal I give full support and wish that he does well because if he doesn’t do well, am the one that will suffer.

  6. WiserthanWenger says:

    I’ll surely not support him just becos Emery made a stupid choice ! Unless suddenly this Granit Joker gets possessed like what Ramsey was during one season and perform well which i doubt , he must be criticised and even kicked out if he continues to harm Arsenal by his poor displays !

  7. Goonerresponse says:

    I think the players voted for who they think they should be voting for, rather than who they wanted to.

    Everything about this is cowardly.

    Did players even stand-up and say, I SHOULD BE CAPTAIN. From all accounts i’ve heard, this didn’t even happen. So we have one player who has been captain, no other players who have (other than ozil). In this moment, WHO CAN YOU VOTE FOR?!

    Its a complete farce.

    Emery ‘idea’ is a joke. The team’s ‘idea’ is a joke. The team’s ‘idea’ on the pitch is a joke. And the joke doesn’t translate into anything funny.

  8. ThirdManJW says:

    Maybe Xhaka is the most vocal of all our players. Maybe he does have the best leadership skills, but you simply cannot have one of your worst players as captain. Why do we always have to have rubbish captains?

  9. Labour says:

    Please why don’t you support the team, check Xhaka when he is playing for national team, he plays well . You must check the balance off Arsenal middlefielders, some of them are not much enough they’re still learning, leaving all the burden to Xhaka

    1. AlexLaca9 says:

      Oh please, the only burden in that midfield is xhaka

    2. Targaryen says:

      @ labour: No he doesn’t…basically sh*it whether playing for arsenal or Switzerland.

  10. Gily says:

    Well well well, it is one thing to be the captain but it is an entirely different thing to play every single match no matter how bad he is.
    If subsequently UE continues to play Xhaka every single match against the interests of the fans, then that should be the final nail in his coffin, unless otherwise Arsenal continues to win the matches he features.

  11. ken1945 says:

    Of course we have to support him as an Arsenal player/captain once he’s on the pitch, that’s what supporters should do.

    Thinking about it, IF our back four is made up of Bellerin-Chambers-Holding-Tierney, then Xhaka’s experience might just be useful for them to follow.

    Apart from that, I can only ask, who else is there?
    Our biggest weakness is currently defence and defensive midfield, so that is surely where the captain should be isssuing orders from?

    Holding for the future looks good, but until SOMEONE decides we need a commanding midfielder, let’s see if the added responsibility helps him think more clearly.

  12. Declan says:

    You obviously don’t go to the Emirates then. If you did you’d agree.

  13. Truth says:

    Can not wait for Emery and Xhaka to leave. Until then I hope they get right on the pitch with their team tactics and decision making.

  14. Agu Emen says:

    Emery was given a garbage squad.
    Xhaka who should not even start is made captain.
    None of this is Unai’s fault.
    It is symptomatic of systemic failure for years.
    A strong brave and ambitious club would have given
    Emery a powerful squad then Captain would not be an issue.
    This is what an ambitious club would have done in the summer.
    Sold:
    Xhaka 45m Socrates 20m Mustafi 30m Kolasinac 17m Lacazette 50m Chambers 15m Mkhitarian 10m Iwobi 35m Kos 4m Jenko 2m Bielik 6m
    Not bought Luiz 7m Torreira 25m Pepe 70m
    = 331m
    Bought :
    Koulibali 75m + Ozil free.
    Varane 75m
    Bisaka 50m
    Rodri 70m
    Saliba 30m
    Tierney 25m
    Martenelli 5m
    Ceballos, Jetro Willems Both loan.
    = 330m.

    Squad.
    Leno Martinez Macey
    Bellerin Bisaka Tierney Jetro Willems (loan) Bola
    Koulibali Varane Saliba Holding
    AMN Rodri
    Willock Guendouzie Saka Nelson Smith-Rowe Ceballos (loan)
    Aubameyang Nketiah Martenelli
    You can see the defense is vastly stronger than what we have now.
    I bet when Llungberg takes over he will demand and get a squad like this not the garbage squad Emery has had to work with.

  15. El kaissi says:

    Asking the players to vote is absolute madness. What atmosphere does he(Unai) want to create among the team? If Xhaka was voted out, he brings that lowly and defeated face to training and match days. Emery should have just made his own decisions which I know wouldn’t be any different from that of
    the team even if it doesn’t please them at least to retain some level of hygienic work environment for everyone.

    Their decision to retain xhaka is clearly Emotional and nothing more.

  16. Joe Kupoluyi says:

    EMERY MUST GO HE IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO BE ARSENAL MANAGER PERIOD. PLEAS LET HIM GO. LET FREDDDY TAKE OVER HE CAN MANAGE XAKA BETER.

  17. Innit says:

    It’s a bad decision but not a big deal

    I don’t think Captaincy matters that much

  18. Dea champ says:

    I just gave up on emery, I have stopped been optimistic about this season

  19. ozziegunner says:

    I have no concerns about the players electing the captain and have played in teams, where this has been the case. The captain has to be respected by his team mates.
    However I do have a problem with a captain, who admits he is scared on the field!

  20. Aussie Jack says:

    Making Xhaka captain is no surprise simply because the decision was taken by a manager who shouldn`t be there himself. Wenger`s last ten years at Emirates left hundreds, if not thousands , of devoted fans with ulcers and just when the pain seemed to be receding along comes (you know who)?
    The confusion and frustration is part of Arsenal`s DNA which Arsenal does not have a mortgage on ,it`s rife throughout modern day football and started thanks to the high rollers of the 60`s and 70`s, the oil barons and greed. The pressures associated with the game today suggest that a top manager should plan to stay with a club for no more than three years before moving on to refresh his mind. There is no panacea to the problem the politics and corruption of modern society will never allow it. More money, more problems, it`s a form of cancer.

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