Is Mikel Arteta set to make a mistake when naming his vice-captain? (Opinion)

Hector Bellerin has departed Arsenal leaving an opening as vice-captain, and I can’t help but fear that Mikel Arteta is going make a mistake by naming Granit Xhaka as his man.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is our current captain, the man who was last season dropped for continually showing up late, and he could now be backed up the Swiss international, who has so much going against him.

We could talk about the reason why he was stripped of the captaincy back in November 2019, for lashing out and shouting abuse at the fans inside the Emirates on October 27 as he was substituted, also refusing to shake the hand of then-manager Unai Emery as he left the field.

We could also look at his various red cards, his numerous costly mistakes leading to goals(hardly the best example to be setting), or we could even look at the latest news coming from his international boss, that Xhaka has now contracted Coronavirus, whilst being the only one of his squad not to be vaccinated.

I know we all have different views on the vaccine, and I understand that some believe it hasn’t been tested enough, but the fact remains that the vaccine will protect you as well as PROTECTING THOSE AROUND YOU, and on that basis, somebody who you would want to lead, is somebody who would put others before himself.

Can you see Arteta giving it to anyone else? I think most would agree that Kieran Tierney should be up there, but given Xhaka had the armband against Brentford likely speaks volumes…


Tags Granit Xhaka mikel arteta vice-captain


    1. Reggie did you not know Arteta is in love with Xhaka how many times has he let the club down Guendouzi made one mistake and he was dumped there is a young man with fire in his belly and loves Arsenal

  1. I guess Xhaka is the most respected player and the best communicator in the dressing room at Monchengladbach/ Switzerland/ Arsenal, hence Wenger, Emery, Ljungberg, Arteta, Favre and Petkovic made him their captain

    1. Xhaka cannot deliver in the field of play. People are respected for what they can do. He doesn’t have the intellectual power. How he someone to do something that he cannot do? Typical Arteta’s decision

      1. The most respected employee and the best communicator at the office is usually not the one with high technical skills, but the best presenter of his ideas and the one whom his superiors deem able to influence the others

        Favre, Wenger, Emery, Ljungberg, Petkovic and Mourinho made (and would’ve made) Xhaka their key player, so it’s not a typical Arteta’s decision

        1. If this is how were you work operate, I will be damned😬😂. Cuz in mine it’s about consistency and deliverables not words and below par results.

        2. Which is perhaps why all these gentlemen failed to refloat a listing ship … this guy is the football equivalent of gresham’s law so of course the bad that follows are in awe of those who have been their longer … communicator !!!! Can’t make this guy up

    2. But GAI how can you defend or find excuses for a player who most definitely hasn’t been a good captain in the past for Arsenal and is definitely not a leader on the pitch. My view is Arsenal need to move on from xhaka to move on.

      1. He’s definitely a good leader, otherwise Switzerland wouldn’t have performed well in Euro. Six managers have made him their captain and Mourinho almost signed him, so I bet he’s highly influential in the dressing rooms and communicates well with his bosses

        However, he’s bad in tight spaces and doesn’t have the guts to turn his direction, when he feels an opponent is running towards his back. This is why he must be our deepest midfielder and let the other midfielder does the creative turns

        I agree he should’ve moved on though, because he seems to need a new challenge. Maybe he’ll be allowed to move next summer, when Marc Roca is available

          1. @Reggie

            If every player is clueless about his role and that of his teammates, a captain can’t do anything. All the players play to the instructions from the touch-line through out the entire 90+ minutes. A captain’s armband is just a gimmick. If there’s a proper playing system, the players don’t need instructions for the entire duration of the game and the captain can manage the players on the pitch. A system can be changed through instructions from the touchline on a few occasions during the game, if needed. And the captain must be trusted with some authority on the pitch.

            Do you believe that any instruction to the players on the pitch goes through the captain? I don’t think so. Our captain’s role is just to make a call during the coin-toss.

          2. VAS C im on about his onfield leadership qualities like any other great football captain have had. He hasn’t got any skills to be captain of Arsenal. They say captains lead by example, well say no more…………..

        1. Yes Gai you have said it all👍
          When the options are not plentiful, the available becomes the needed. Xhaka has his weakness like every other good players but he doesn’t have his own strength. Previous managers can’t all be wrong about him.

          1. Regardless of many criticism about Xhaka, he has his own strength. He is not the major reason Arsenal have not done well in the last 3 games.

    1. OF, if players respect him? How come when he was captain our team were a joke? Where was his leadership on the field?

      1. Tierney for me (defo not Xhaka attack)
        Maybe party should have a shout (when he starts playing again).

        Sadly few other players I would choose (a sign of the times).

        Tierney is still young but maybe with the added responsibility he would flourish.

        Certainly plays with max effort and is most of the time one of our most effective players.

        Also is a tough nut with good spirit who has the potential to vocalise, demand and generally muster the troops.

  2. He is the most logical choice though, isn’t he? I agree with Olusola up there. If he is respected as a player and a leader in the dressing room, then he should be the vice-captain. Destabilizing team structure by naming KT might do more harm than good. I feel needs another season more to show his ability as a leader before being considered for the captain.

      1. Yeah Sue. I think at this point suddenly changing the leadership might cause unbalance in team dynamics. Which is something MA cant afford to have on his plate. I also think as you that KT’s time will come, maybe after this season.

  3. To give the vice-captaincy to Xhaka in front of Tierney would be the biggest screw up. Xhaka cost us fourth place under Emery with his pathetic penalty giving tackle. He has sabotaged our team so many times through recklessness and anger that it would be stupid. Tierney should be at least vice-captain, the players would have to give everything.

    1. Spot on Sean!
      What is it at Arsenal!!!?; reward failure and mediocrity decade!

      Hold up..yes that’s exactly what it is..

      Hot heaviness, Incompetence and costly performance after performance rewarded..

      Dandy idea!

  4. How is it that Arteta/Xhaka apologists can keep referring to Xhaka’s seemingly obvious influence within the locker room yet not lay any of the blame at his feet for the absolutely glaring lack of leadership since the time of his arrival…you can’t have it both ways!!!! So not only is he not to blame for the ongoing divisiveness in the locker room, for the past half decade, but he likewise gets a pass even though he hasn’t been able to you properly harness his supposed influence to positively impact such matters…talk about a cake and eat it too scenario

      1. you can’t on hand have a commonly-held perception that this club has been bereft of leaders, within the locker room, which led to the emergence of divisive cliques, media moles and a myriad of other player-led negative actions that seemingly went unchecked, then, on the other hand, declare that one of the only individuals who has been here the whole period in question, has the very leadership qualities our team needs…quite frankly, it seems a tad delusional to reach that conclusion given the overriding facts

        1. not to mention, he didn’t want to be here this season, according to Roma administrative personnel…”AS Roma director Tiago Pinto recently claimed that Xhaka had his heart set on a move away from the Emirates Stadium”

  5. With the host of new players and young team, unfortunately Xhaka seems like a sensible choice. However I would guess that it wouild only be for a year, maybe only until January, because clearly he will be replaced soon. The new contract was just about sale value. He’ll be gone once the team is stable and there is a suitable buyer.

    1. Yeh give it to Xhaka although don’t you need to be on the field to receive the armband from your captain should he go off?

    2. Xhaka has no sale value. The best offer Arsenal
      will ever see was turned down in July. Xhaka turns 30 in September 2022. The record transfer fee paid for a PL midfielder over 30 is 8 million pounds for Fabregas. This summer, no midfielder over 30 commanded a fee higher than 4 million pounds.

      Arsenal extended Xhaka because they intend to keep him. If they did it for any other reason they are complete idiots. In an event, we are stuck with him.

  6. Granit is the most qualified to be the captain let alone vice captain. Performance aside GAI, Olusola and Sid have given good reasons why above.

    What has Tierney done or what leadership qualities has he showed to be thought as a good choice for captain? He is just fans favourite. He may have potential but I don’t think now with all the negativity is a good time for him.

    Granit the man of steel is strong enough to resist the negativity, I don’t think Tierney is.

    1. As much as i pretty much Agree with your posts HH the 3 fore mentioned posters are talking waffle mate .
      Xhakas name alone should never be mentioned in any sort of football terms be it captain or even as a footballer .
      My opinion OFC

        1. Got peed off sue ,with every post was waiting for approval , but looks like a few others have had the same issue so went off on one when I shouldn’t have 🥴yea missed a week but should still be the double champ by the seasons end no problem 😂

          1. DK, I didn’t want to say it on the other thread, but that was definitely a “sin bin” designation gig, as I’ve suffered through that same “waiting for approval” purgatory…it allows Admin to view your posts prior to them being publicly expressed…I sent a message to Admin a few days ago asking about your status, but no reply was forthcoming…I knew something was up when you weren’t posting during that frustratingly difficult late window period…good to have you back on board, even though there’s a much more PC-friendly initiative in the offing, so you might have to tread a bit more carefully…of course, even though I somewhat understand the well-intentioned nature of these new protocols, I’ll miss the oft-times cathartic and amusing old school back-and-forth sessions

          2. Stephanie and others are on fire this season I am starting to worry the table might not get in shape😂😂

      1. Welcome back Dan kit. Xhaka is a better leader than auba I think that armband is an xtra burden to him and his performance coincidentally deteriorated ever since

      2. Welcome back Dan. Glad to see you back even in disagreement. I will hold my judgement for Granit as a footballer until we see how he perform for the next coach or when Arteta find his mojo (very unlikely)

        When the storm is over Tierney can be our very own Phillip Lahm but for now it is better they leave him to perfect his game.

    2. If the squad believe he is the motivator then who am I to disagree?
      And I don’t share the post match bath to know either way!

      1. Yes SueP. With the current situation the likes of Granit are more suited for leadership. It is better in my opinion not to put our young players in a position to lead the divas. It might do them more harm than good.

  7. I think it’s safe to say that Arteta could care less how fans think he should manage his club. Right or wrong, he will name players, formations, tactics and captains based on 100% what he thinks. I am just surprised fans think they have some ownership in how the club is run.

    1. Has Arteta just bought Arsenal?

      Or been promoted because of his excellent work so far?

      Without fans there is no club

        1. OZZIE you are clearly not correct! The club , along with all clubs , will be acutely aware of how vital fans are. The pandemic has shown that beyond question.

          Though Kroenke is an appalling owner, he is NOT a financial dunce, to put it mildly. All clubs will be haemorrhaging money since Covid and unless fans are given more respect , many will IMO, leave football altogether.

          I am just one of countless fans world wide who despise the whole corrupt natureof the BUSINESS dealings of top football and the cheating and general nastiness that abounds.

          I have long been seriously considering turning my back on not only our club but also on ALL top level football. I am surely not alone and if you think I am then you are ducking a real issue that MATTERS to countless decent people.

          The world, Ozzie, is changing fast in social attitudes and mostly for the better.

          Football is moving against this trend and is riding for a very rude awakening if it foolishly continues going against the tide of human decency and anti greed..

          1. jon, I don’t disagree with anything you have said. People will vote with their feet, because there are so many things competing for any individual’s leisure time. That will particularly be the case if KS&E don’t give any consideration to the fan base as “stakeholders”.
            The one thing I do disagree on is that the world is completely changing for the better. The sense of the “common weal”, the benefit of society as a whole compared to what’s best for the benefit of an individual has been eroded. This can be seen in many of the reactions to the pandemic, self isolating, mask wearing and vaccination. Other examples are people no longer being joiners or contributes to service clubs, community groups and sporting organisations to coach and manage junior teams. It is becoming all about “self”.

  8. I think Xhaka can make more impact as a bench player, use Lokonga along with Partey and let Xhaka “relax” for some time.

    Only Tierney seems to be the Captain of our team!

  9. Personally I do not think that Auba should be captain but that said, Xhaka is probably the only choice as vice captain looking at the alternatives. One of our new signings could well develop as a leader in the near future, we haven’t had one since Kos imo.

  10. What a sorry state of affairs at this once great Club, that we are discussing the captaincy credentials of players like Aubameyang and Xhaka. In previous Arsenal teams these two would be so far down the pecking order, they wouldn’t have got a look in. However over time players with leadership qualities have disappeared from Arsenal squads..
    If Arteta is looking for someone with credentials why not look to Martin Odegaard, the captain of Norway, with Tierney as his deputy, as a move to the future?

    1. OG…I agree with your first sentence, albeit there’s no doubt that Auba never truly desired the designation in the first place, as it doesn’t suit his devil-may-care predilections…as for Xhaka, even the possibility makes me cringe…in regards to Ode, the fact that he clearly wanted to ply his trade in Real, until very recently, would make him a disingenuous option at this juncture, in my estimation…not to mention, he’s a little too soft and injury-prone for my liking: not to mention, we need someone who’s willing to represent the room when issues arise with management-types…I like some of the feistiness that Tierney displays, at times, but once again the best ability for a captain, just might be availability, which doesn’t seem a possibility when it comes to our LB

      I think it might be best to have ESR wear the armband, especially since he’s re-upped for term and hasn’t been plagued with the same collection of injuries that kept him on the shelf in the past…that said though, we don’t really have one individual who’s best-suited for the designation, which isn’t surprising considering that Arteta, much like Wenger, wants to be surrounded by “yes men”, which certainly isn’t conducive to developing and/or nurturing those leadership-types

      1. TRVL4e, ESR has enough on his plate with his own developing game, without the added pressure of captaincy.
        Considering Xhaka’s main claim for a captaincy role at Arsenal is that he is captain of Switzerland, why shouldn’t Odegaard, the popular captain of Norway be an option, now that he has committed his career to Arsenal? Now that he has committed and has had a seasons experience, plus is a year older and stronger, it will be interesting to see whether the injuries recur.

      2. TRVL, IMO your post ignores the real and general problem that all clubs, not merely our own, have in finding quality captains.

        That reason is that in todays softer society, few players are mentally tough enough to approach the quality of great captains of our past, like McLintock, Adams, Vieira.

        I agree with almost all you wrote but you have omitted to give the PRIME reason, which is what I give (above).

  11. Me, I’d make Gandouzi captain. There’s a player who hates to lose and doesn’t take a backward step. Arteta, Xhaka and other clones can take a running jump.

      1. Unfortunately he is on loan to Marseille and they have an option to buy for £9 million. Thus it is difficult to see Guendouzi returning to Arsenal.

      1. I made one comment here stating Arteta being Arsenal Manager itself is a mistake… this comment is no longer visible..

        1. Life’s a bitch!
          Make a statement that you back up with reasons and maybe I wont delete it…

          This is not a school playground…

          1. Arsenal Performance itself is back up that Arteta being Arsenal Manager itself is a mistake….
            Don’t you know think so?

  12. Is better I give it to Tierney or Gabriel Malghaheas than for me to give it to xhaka
    #arteta out
    # Henry in

  13. As long as Xhaka is in our starting 11 we will be a team outside the top 6 … So anyone endorsing his role as captain is de facto resigning themselves to mid table football … Which is pretty sad state of affairs … And the idea that there is some hidden leader for an EPL team in this guy based on the mediocre performances of the Swiss national team just beggars belief … At this point I am not convinced there are any traditional leaders in this team sadly … So tiernay or partey would be fine … As long as it sidelines this fraudster I really don’t care

  14. i reeally think this is artetas last chance to stop making childish errors. if he does make swiss roll the vice captain,then, i say, throw arteta to the lions.

  15. If Partey can keep fit and have a proper run in the team he may well be the answer. At his best he looks the business, maybe he can emulate Patrick? That would be something wouldn’t it?

  16. Yes. Make the guy who throws our shirt on the ground and tells us to f*ck off our new vice captain. The same guy who gets unnecessary red and yellow cards every match. Let’s reward that guy with an armband. This club already gave him an contract extension, so why not make him the vice captain 🤦🏻‍♂️

  17. Remember when Wenger made Arteta captain, he said “Arteta speaks well in the dressing room, he commands the respect of his teammates”, not that he plays well, so Arteta is probably doing the same thing

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