Why Granit Xhaka is the obvious choice for Arsenal captaincy

Arsenal will be expected to announce a new captain after news that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would no longer be continuing in the role.

While there are different opinions on who should be the new captain, I feel like all avenues point in the same direction.

Of those players who show their leadership on the pitch, urging their team-mates on to give more, to push more, there are few. The standouts this season come from Alexandre Lacazette, Granit Xhaka, Kieran Tierney, Aaron Ramsdale and Gabriel Magalhaes. Emile Smith Rowe, Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe also show some leadership skills, but the three are still a little raw on the field, and their focus should be on improving themselves.

Whittling through the above, you can take out those who aren’t nailed on to start, which rules out Kieran Tierney (unfortunately) and Alexandre Lacazette. That leaves a core base of three excluding the younger trio, meaning that the likely favourites come from our goalkeeper, Brazilian defender and Xhaka.

The latter is our current vice-captain, which highlights the role he already represents in the side, but you cannot overlook the negatives. He has already been stripped as captain already, after shouting abuse at the fans whilst he was substituted, and his performances are regularly over-studied and pulled apart by fans and pundits alike, making him an easy target.

While he is quick to come into question, he has come out shining and performing on a regular basis however, and he does seem a much mature player than he once was.

While I don’t think anyone would doubt Gabriel or Ramdsale’s leadership as seen on the pitch throughout the current season, I’m not sure they have been a regular first-teamer in the side to demand the respect of their peers.

I think we would all love to see Tierney given his shot to lead by example, but I think the question marks over his importance in the first-team may hamper the chances, and feel like Gabriel could be the strongest rival to Xhaka, who is the obvious choice.

Who do you think will be named captain?



Tags Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang


  1. I feel like this was written simply to try and rile up the fans. Cannot be taken seriously.

    I do however have no doubt that MA will be considering Xhaka strongly. I mean he gave him an inexplicable contract extension and played him immediately after his injury even though he had no match fitness/form.

    1. Agree PJ-SA. Shows the level “Just Arsenal” are at.(Pub football writing)! And they know nothing about the level expected of a Captain at Arsenal Football Club……and the amnesia of “Just Arsenal” and the history of Xhaka as former Captain.
      Perhaps they also want us to remain in medocrity of mid table going nowhere and not qualifying for Europe or competing for real honours with players that are taking us nowhere…..

      1. And perhaps you are just a troll that is commenting for the first time on JustArsenal just to insult us?

        We honestly love having people around that enjoy insulting anyone who disagrees with them.


    2. “I feel like this was written simply to try and rile up the fans.”

      First thing that came to mind when I saw the title..GoonerP is something else..lol..lol..lol

    3. Had to chuckle a bit when he mentioned that Tierney was “not a nailed-on starter” (fair enough) but his article implies Xhaka IS nailed-on and un-droppable as well.

      Think that 10 game streak showed that Sambi can step in and do a job. Xhaka in midfield did not exactly help against Everton did it?

      Where was Xhaka’s leadership while we wasted time and collapsed in the 2nd half?

      We need a young productive player to be captain now, someone who reflects the direction and the product Arteta and ownsership are trying to sell to the fans.

      For me it’s Tierney, Ramsdale, Gabriel; any of the 3 are solid and embody everything the club is trying to do going forward.

      Going backwards to the past and anointing Xhaka would be a mistake. Don’t see him as embodying “the process” or “the project” when I daresay most fans rather move him on from the club.

      General shock in the fanbase when his contract was extended, think it would go over like a “Led Zeppelin” if he was anointed captain.

      1. Durand, I honestly do not believe MA is daft enough and blinkered enough not to see the harmwhich you correctly predict would befall, IF he DID re-apppoint the dismal and oafish Xhaka.
        I may of course be wrong and if I am then it is deep despair time for Gooners.

      2. I agree, well almost. I think also that a Captain should be at the back of a team as Tony Adams was. For me though it would be Ramsdale for Captain because he is already shouting and ‘barking’ at players when they lose concentration! Vice Captain I would consider Ben White because I think he would talk more than Gabriel

    4. Lets make Xhaka captain – all the previous ones have lost form or left… so there you go we canb go back to Lokonga alongside Partey

  2. “This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper. . “ after 40 years a gunner supporter we have fans who want to pick not even a hollow man but a hapless clown of a footballer … who happily abused fans and was desperate to join the mourinho circus .. as club captain .. sad state of affairs

    1. Fans crossed all boundaries in their abuse of Granit let’s be honest. Will you be all smiles when you are booed and mocked every single game week and if that is not enough your innocent child is wished cancer?

      Xhaka was a victim in that debacle there is no other way to put it.

      He is a professional player contracted by the club, when the manager names him on the starting eleven he has to play. To do otherwise will be a breach of contract. It doesn’t matter if he is good player or bad. If fans doesn’t like him playing they should blame the manager (the great Arsene, Unay and Arteta).

      Seriously what should he do? He does not name himself on the team. Should he retire then?

      1. HH I will never be able to summarise that situation as articulate as you put it.. I hear people say Xhaka abused the fans and I am instantly lost.. if you don’t like him or rate him it’s fine but don’t lie and say he abused the fans just say you don’t like him simple.

        1. I agree, I’m no fan of Xhaka but fans feel powerful thinking they are untouchable and was glad Xhaka game them a taste of their own medicine!

          Do I want him starting…no
          Was he in the right…hell yes

      2. No need for him to retire , just play somewhere else.
        Roma seemed to fancy him unless it was just Mourinho playing with Arsenal again, and he was making all the noises to go until more money hit the table .
        Captains don’t hold their teams to ransome.

        1. Potter you will find that apply to all professional players. It’s all about money and who can blame them? I don’t think there is a single player in this day and age who plays for the badge anymore.

          1. HH, I would ONLY challenge you on “not a SINGLE player”! There is bound to be one; in life there always is.

            But in general, you are spot on! Sigh!

            Greed has ruined top level football and will, unless somehow turned back, eventually kill our sport!

        2. MA is the reason we don’t really like xhaka, xhaka is below par and makes lots of mistakes, the MA still plays him and wonders why his team isnt performing to the optimal, while benching good alternatives, then we pinpoint xhaka as the scapeG

      3. Certainly most Arsenal fans are taking the Xhaka’s animosity 2 far & are blinded by his importance & commitment 2 this club. Most of us are worse than Xhaka even in our opinions & suggestions. Fellow Gunners, if Arteta does name Xhaka our captain again, plz kindly protest by hugging any electric transformer nearest 2 u, that way, u won’t bother about Xhaka anymore.

        1. Imagine watching Santi the magician work his magic in the midfield, and then talk about how Xhaka is important to the midfield.

          That drop in standards is a great example of what is becoming acceptable mediocrity at Arsenal. I don’t think Xhaka is a bad player, just bad in the PL with Arsenal.

          We have different opinions, no need to insult people who disagree.

  3. Is Xhaka a secret cult leader or something? If ppl thought there was an air of invulnerability around Aubameyang, it’s nothing compared to what Xhaka has going on. Fans can keep saying how amazing this player is and I’ll keep thinking ppl are losing their marbles.

  4. It wouldn’t surprise me ,I’m sure the Arteta fan club will get all defensive and come up with why he should be made captain even though he shouldn’t even be playing for a club like Arsenal .
    A sad state of affairs at the club ATM but it’s been brewing slowly the past 2 seasons .

  5. I pray removal of aubameyang will not create discord in the dressing room thereby affecting our performance on field.

  6. Xhaka??? Oh, sweet Jesus!! No wonder the media/other fanbases have a field day where we’re concerned! There’s never a dull moment at the Emirates.
    Wouldn’t surprise me if we went back to having 5 bloody captains!!

    We’ve got a massive game tomorrow, which I’d like the focus to be on, but no, it’s all about the fall-out with Auba.
    Ding ding, Ozil round 2.. I’m not up for it. Whatever is decided; whether he’s sold or stays then so be it. I can’t be bothered with all the arguing, there’s always a divide in the fanbase and I’m so tired of it….

    Just for the record, I’d love to see Gabriel with the armband tomorrow COYG

    1. Ugh, you’re right Sue unfortunately. All the focus is going to now be on the drama instead of how crucial and important tomorrows game is. This is a big one and we’ll have to hope the squad is focused and can put the theatrics in the background for the 90 minutes.

    2. Sue you ain’t tired yet! So to say the 5 ‘captains’ are now ‘leader group’ if you consider what Arteta said. You are right , more drama please!

  7. Lacazette will be wearing the armband tonight.
    By the way, anyone going to the game tonight is being recommended to get there early because of the Covid pass checking protocols. Don’t blame the club, it’s a government rule.

  8. How important is it to have a designated captain for the rest of the year? Lots of candidates in the summer, leave it until then.

    Pick the captain on game day once the starting XI is announced.

    Share the love. Or the poisoned chalice as it were.

  9. Granit is the obvious and most qualified choice. He has been the captain under all the managers he has played for after the armband vacancy. They can’t all be wrong no way!

    But because there is bad blood between him and the fans (in the words of John Rambo the fans drew first) Ramsdale should be given the captaincy. I don’t think it matters that he has been here for few months only, he is a leader in words and action and a very important player and that is what is important.

  10. Xhaka is not Arsenal material, he is not good enough to be in the team as being captain, what a joke. Arteta was a player who played side to side and backwards, he was boring and no good, remind you of someone. Ben White or Ramsdale both are good players who read the game well and command respect from the players, Xhaka doesn’t and he isn’t a fan favourite. One more useless tactic from the clown Arteta

  11. Talk and talk at the end you will see xhaka the captain and he will be the captain and I will love that💪🔥

  12. If this were to happen, which I wouldn’t be surprised with whatsoever considering our manager’s overriding fear of both expansive football and anyone who might disrupt the always fragile power dynamic, it would be a clear indicator that this club is actually more fu**ed up than I even imagined

  13. Xhaka again?! No no NO!!! After what he did I am surprised he was even allowed to remain at the club. Anyway, I’d give it to Ramsdale, I know he only came recently but he is commanding, passionate and focused in every game.

  14. If this a a proper rebuild and trusting the kids the do the same thing we did with Cesc and appoint one of the younger lads who have shown those leadership qualities required on and off the pitch.

    Young, Hungry and most definitely the commanding presence at the heart of the defence;

    Captain – Gabriel.

    Co Vice Captains;
    Ramsdale, Teirney & Øde

    Laca is leaving, Auba wont be far behind & Xhaka flopped as captain before not just for his behaviour atvthe fans but is a liabilty to stay on the pitch and keep us with 11 men… hes rashional but is a constant professional but that cant be enough. Appointing him as Captain is not moving forward at all.

    By this summer Eddie, Laca, Auba, Elneny, Matteo, Lucas, AMN, Bellerin, Kolasnic, Mari, Leno & Dino may well be gone from the club.

    Saliba & Nelson to return to the club.
    Patino, Azeez and a few others may join Balogun in stepping up to the 1st team.

    My point is this squad is going be changing loads again over the next 12months, we need a captain who is here for the long haul and the passion to do well for the club at all costs. Gabriel & Ramsdale fit the bill imo. Gabriel here 2 years and is ready, Ramsdale just arrive but is future captain for Arsenal FC in a few years time.

  15. Personally I feel Xhaka is one of the strong characters we have capable of being a leader and if not for his earlier fiasco with the fans he would have been the perfect one, others are a tier below him imo, KT injury, Ode,white and Ramsdale are new, Gabriel English isn’t great and Laccazet on his way out.
    Xhaka is the only one who can be chosen but though he is qualified, it will be total foolishness to choose him and if MA does chose him, I’ll be highly disappointed. Let’s give it to a young and vibrant KT and start preparing for the future let’s move past Wenger, unai era and open a new chapter

  16. I don’t think that they can go back there. Besides, he is going to get himself thrown out of a game sometime soon, probably at a critical stage and the captain can’t be someone who does that. If you took that rashness out of his game then I would go with him and he would be a lot more popular with more fans.

  17. I am one of the Arsenal fans who had descended heavily on Granit Xhaka, to criticize, condemned and blast him on JustArsenal for his unprofessional conduct towards the Arsenal fans at the Ems. Who booed and jeered him during an Arsenal vs Crystal Palace EPL match when he was brought off in the match.

    But Arsenal has since moved on from that unfortunate Xhaka’s episode that saw him being striped of the team’s captaincy armband then. But he remain at club starting almost every Arsenal game under M Arteta’s managerial stewardship last season. What a player!

    I beseech us Arsenal fans not to over dwell on Xhaka’s past rudeness deeds towards us the Arsenal fans at Ems. But us should try and forget. For, I believe Xhaka will now has learnt his lesson to not over react to tolling, abusing and, jeering him at any given time by the Arsenal fans. But control himself to not react negatively.

    To me, the past is the past and the present is the present. But save, there be a strong reason to go into the past for genuine purpose. But not out to seek for vengeance. For, vengeance is of the Lord.

    Therefore, I suggest let the Arsenal captaincy armband be returned to Xhaka by Arteta, who I think deserved it and still has 2&1/2 years to run on his deal at the club. Besides, Xhaka is his national team captain. And that’s an added advantage qualification. Which I think other Gunners in the current Arsenal first team squad haven’ but Auba the Gabon skippe. And apart of Xhaka being a leader in the team, it has been said that he also commands a lot of respect in the dressing room from the senior and junior players in team..

    In the meantime, let Aubameyang restraites his bad steps at the club to return to the team quickly. Even as he has been striped of the captaincy armband of the team should not constitute any hindrance to him from returning quickly to team. And apologise to his manager to forging him his wrong doings. Let him not only bonour his contract at club by returning to the team. But prove himself he still has in him what it takes to be scoring goals regularly in the EPL once again for Arsenal by proving he can when he is back in the team playing.

  18. No not Xhaka, this guy keeps making mistakes and getting red cards over and over!

    Laca, Teirney or Gabi even Ramsdale is a good option.

  19. The perfect Captain for Arsenal would have been Rob Holding!
    Holding is Young, Aggressive, disciplined, has some leadership qualities and he is English!
    He reminds of John Terry during his early days! Quite a pity Ben White has taken his place!

  20. Xhaka? Out of question, simply impossible unless Arteta has gone bonkers. Tierney, for me, is the best choice. Calm, composed, very good in his duties as a defender and has his heart with Club. We need someone who is dedicated to the team cause and not reckless temperamental. He has to carry the team with him and a be an example and role model. Tierney suits all qualities as Captain.

  21. I rather you speak for yourself because I wasn’t one of those who were shocked by the news of Xhaka’s contract extension as I always discern him as pivotal a figure in that dressing room.

      1. I said “general shock in the fanbase” which is an accurate portrayal of the situation.

        I never said all, so calm down and reread what I posted, perhaps a second read will help you understand.

        Aside from cards and errors leading to goals, perhaps you can enlighten us to his league leading qualities?

        I’ll wait…..

  22. Oi. GX is a gutless phony who hides from big moments. Notice our run of form with him out. Laca deserves band.

  23. Well I really don’t understand Justarsenal fan base, about 85% dislike Xhaka, yet he’s been picked by 3 different coaches, was highly rated at his former club, captain of Switzerland 🇨🇭 team,
    At this point, it’s totally obvious, we’ve added sentiments in judging Xhaka,
    I personally do not like slow midfielders, but we can’t totally blame Xhaka, most of his mistakes have been from trying to shield the ball, obviously the other players weren’t rotating enough for a clear pass,

    Between Xhaka and Partey,
    Who shoots better ?
    Who passes better?
    Who coordinates better?

    Somehow, Xhaka’s our most reliable, all we need are box 2 box players to partner Xhaka and he’ll deliver,

    EPL is changing into rugby, too physical, fast less skills, Arsenal needs muscle, skills and speed ASAP until then, We have Xhaka.

    1. So you are not disappoint going from Santi Carzola to Xhaka? From a create driving midfield to a slow, plodding, card accruing midfielder?

      Xhaka is better suited to Bundesliga or Serie A football. His qualities simply have not translated to the PL; it happens with players. Xhaka isn’t the first and won’t be the last.

  24. Xhaka has all ready failed badly once as captain, so i dont see it. Xhaka isn’t a good enough footballer for Arsenal let alone captain. Oh!!! how we can look back and see proper footballers and captains in midfield and now some mention xhaka in the same breath. Standards are dropping but not by me, he should never be considered, he couldn’t even engineer a move away when both parties were interested because the other team didn’t value him enough, why should we?

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