Why Xhaka is the right choice to be Arsenal captain

Why fans shouldn’t complain about Xhaka being the Arsenal captain


There was a terrible uproar from Arsenal fans after Unai Emery announced that Granit Xhaka should be the new Arsenal captain, especially as is the one player that has been directly responsible for the most goals conceded than any other player.

Almost nobody cared that Emery had told us that he was the most popular choice by his team-mates, with some people saying that they didn’t believe because it was a secret poll with the other players not knowing who each had named as their favourite Arsenal captain.

But in a new interview with Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin on Arsenal Player (as quoted on Football London), both players have come out in Xhaka’s defence and says the honour is fully deserved. They were asked: “How good a leader is Granit Xhaka, and what is he like behind the scenes?”

Bellerin said: “I think he’s a great captain for the club,”

“He knows the club as good as anyone, he knows what it means to play for the club, and also he’s a player that plays almost every game.

“Even when he’s got little injuries, he’s always ready to play so I think that’s a good quality for a captain to have.”

And this is what Tierney replied: “Since I came in, he’s been up there with [Bellerin] as well for helping me,”

“So to see that and to see what he gives on the training pitch, every day is 100 per cent and that’s what a leader should be. He is everything a leader is.”

So, as far as I am concerned, then if Xhaka is respected and listened to by our young players (and there are a lot of them now) then he has surely earned the right to the armband?



  1. If being popular inside the dressing room is more important than being effective on the pitch, who am I to complain?!?!

  2. Hope it works but so far no sign of that. Maybe better in the dressing room rather than on the pitch and I mean that in a good way. Then let someone else do the job on the pitch.

  3. Was away for a while and just caught up with all the post Utd comments.

    One thing that stands out is that some fans here are so irrational and biased that whatever happens in the game is virtually redundant. Their minds are already fixed, rendering them incapable of making an objective assessment. Some would jump to conclusions and when evidence to the contrary is pointed out, insist that the truth be ignored or bent. It’s getting senseless.

    It’s one thing to make big claims with hindsight, exaggerate a little to stress a point or be misinformed of the facts, but to deny reality is simply absurd

    1. Yep, and its almost as if some fans would prefer to see the team fail and be proved right than actually see them succeed and be proved wrong. If I read one more comment like “I hope we lose/don’t make top four so Emery loses his job/drops Xhaka” I’m going to lose all faith in our fans.

      1. Some actually want the team to fail to make some stupid point, I don’t know how a so called fan will want his team to fail so they can be proved right.

      2. Tell me about it. The negativity can be so toxic sometimes.

        May also have to do with me reading several hundred comments all at once and got my soul sucked out by the cynicism 😂

        1. I’m beginning to think that reading/using the comments section is a bad idea, but i just can’t help myself

        2. As the great Russian football commentator Leo Tolstoy .. right back for Moscow wanderers… noted happy teams are happy for much the same reason ie tbey are winning but unhappy teams are unhappy for many different reasons ie not just because they aren’t winning enough … so lots of comments sadly merited on arsenal sites … ffing smart people the ruskies

    2. And for me, if he could just somehow stop the really stupid tackles (multiple times a game) I would have much less issue with him. For me it isn’t the skill, it is the liability that is frustrating. So far we have had the central triangle of death – Luis (who can do amazing things, but makes massive errors regularly; Sokratis (Mr. Grabby Hands) and Granit. If each one of those players could eliminate the stupid plays we would be in much better shape.

      I don’t mind him being Captain, everyone at the club says the right things so he is probably a good choice in the room, I just mind him being on the pitch so much.

      Still, lets see what happens with Tierney and Bellerin in the line-up. Their ability may make what has been a fairly dreary start a lot better.

      1. Haha central triangle of death. Good one!

        I really hope Xhaka improves. Otherwise, like some of our previous skippers, he can be the players’ inspiration from the bench

  4. Sorry for diverting but I need to point something out for Emery fans.

    Call Wenger all you want but I will always remember Wenger for making this club great. This club is not going anywhere before Wenger was signed.
    When he was signed, he made everybody see what he want to play in his first season and every fan believe immediately that this is the exact manager we want.

    We all know how Dennis B was before Wenger turn his football around. Wenger took this club worldwide and not only limit it to England fans and few scanty fans here and there.

    I can still remember vividly when Evra was angry that people talk much about Arsenal and love them because of the way they play(almost winning possession) even when they are not winning.

    Even some Arsenal fans defend themselves with the possession game saying the opponent is so lucky cos they missed many chances.

    I just imagine what Wenger would have done with Laca and Auba had he got a full season with both of them not to talk of adding Pepe to the mix.

    I wonder what would have happen to Emery’s team had he got players of Chamack, Bendtner, Giroud and Co.

    Who in the world will fall in love with this type of our play and still join the club?
    Even in Wenger’s worst year, Fans are still coming in cos of his possession game.

    During our Europa match and Carabao cup game, I saw Ljunberg backing out orders which means the player play is own pattern which is so obvious.

    And people crediting Emery for using our youth must have forgotten why Ljunberg was promoted to first team.

    Let Emery bring back our style or leave the club.

    1. I really don’t like hearing the “Wenger created Arsenal” narrative. It’s simply not true, and disrespectful to everyone that worked so hard to make Arsenal the top club it was, before Wenger’s arrival.

      Yes we were in a lull when he joined, but we were still a big club. Wenger took us to another level for sure, and had a huge influence on English football. Ask yourself this though, was Arsenal a laughing stock domestically and in Europe on Wenger’s arrival? Because he certainly left us as laughing stock.

      I agree with some of the other points you have made, but the Arsenal were nothing before Wenger really grates on me.

      1. TMJW, i don’t think he meant it that way…coming from India and in the 70s where we got football news a week later, I’ve been a fan like a few of my friends. But the fact of the matter is Wenger took the club to another level where the club’s fame grew exponentially across the globe and so did the fanbase. Those who followed Brazil and Argentina started getting into club football and Arsenal is many people’s favourite. Now I see a lot of youngsters moving away to Barcelona, Real, City etc.
        I get your point about Wenger’s last couple of years despite there being other factors. He should have left after the 18th year or max 20th year. But he did a lot for the club, mate. Many people who worked with Wenger, like David Dein, have said many things on record about how he revolutionised the club which in turn made the EPL such a global brand, but he is not appreciated for that. Instead new fans berate him and use slurs too, and that grates. He may have stayed too long, but he still have us good football even with weaker teams. He left his legacy.

    2. Well said mate. When you ask for The Arsenal way of playing beautiful, attacking football, they come moaning at you, and accuse you of wanting the club to fail, while in reality we ask the coach not to fail the club.

    3. BOBS, i must agree with you on everything that you have written in your comments.our former manager , mr.wenger, was a breath of fresh air to the world game. he not only revvolutionised the english game, but , also, the world game. the like of him will never be seen again , me thinks. however, i do note that you did not mention the twelve barren years , those years when we won the fa cup a few times, which is no mean feat.but mr. wenger believed that HE was invincible, therefore ,sitting on his laurels, and , using up his credits for previous successes.in my opinion , he bled the club dry in those twelve years , where he achieved almost nothing. he believed he was mr.arsenal. but , in fact, as you know , nobody, but, nobody, is bigger that our beloved club. and it would only be a fool who would think otherwise.now, i do not hate mr.wenger, by no means, yes, i am critical of him for his last twelve years in charge. he took our club to almost comedic levels with some of his decisions, which i am not going to list here .he is only human after all, but, he should have known when it was time to leave the stage. i feel that he was way too power crazy to do so, and had to be pushed at the end.i wish him all the very best in the future, and, for me, i would love to see him manage another big club, i would love to see how he would handle pressure , something that he never witnessed at the arsenal. so i want to see the results of how he manages pressure. i think , when put under pressure , then we will see the real side of mr.wenger, for once and for all.

      1. Hi Gerry, starting 2006, the funds crunch happened with the club building The Emirates, he hardly had any funds coming in. Stan taking over meant the funds didn’t come easy till Ozil’s purchase. He managed the club till the debts were paid off, so in effect he just didn’t manage the game on the pitch. He blooded in youngsters, focussed on the academy and its players coming through. Initially he had to contend with other clubs like us ManU & Liverpool to name two, but big petrol money came in the form of Abramovich’s Chelsea. Everything happened at the same time and then came Abu Dhabi with ManC. He being old school just couldn’t wrap his head around the huge fees being played for players and when Cole, RVP, Toure, Nasiri, Clichy etc wanted to move to “Big Clubs” that’s when he started to change, but by then these clubs had moved on. But credit to Wenger he kept us in CL for 20yrs. He ideally should have left in 2014, or 2016 max and didn’t deserve the sullying of his image.
        It just be noted that he never was given 200million in two years, it was always one big player at a time – Ozil, Sanchez, Laca, Auba. Bad moves were made too because of his defiance to deal with super agents.
        His famous line, Gazidis said wasz at th beginning of every season he would tell the board, “gentleman, what do I have available to work with”. When he was told the status he just got on with it

        1. hi viju, once again i do agree with you , but maybe not about the stadium debt part of your comment. that is a prime excuse in my view, and we will never hear the end of that while some on here defend mr.wengers latter years.he was given too much authority and this went to his head, ultimately. when somebody calls themselves mr.arsenal it is time to take stock . that is the talk of a fanatic, and good knows, a fanatic, in any walk of like is a dangerous thing.he actually turned me against football in his latter years in charge, he done the same things over and over again, despite getting the exact same results. i do hope the arsenal board never ever gives a manager, whomever he may be, such power again . he is human, the power went to his head. he also claimed that he built the emirates, that is was his “baby”. sorry, but i cannot agree with that .he is a prime example to every body to firmly keep your feet on the ground , even through triumph.

    4. Attendances visibly dropped during his final year at the club. I think it’s fine to romanticize Wenger a bit, but it was not all great at all. He did modernize the club, and even English football to a degree, but then the game keeps moving on, and you have to keep up with it and that didn’t happen for him. I was never scared of Arsene leaving, because Arsenal will always exist beyond one manager or player, even when many fans have a hard time imagining it.

      As for our style, there isn’t even a successful club right now that currently plays such defensive football. Even if you want Atleti now, they are much more adventurous than they have been in the past. And I just don’t think Emery is really heading anywhere promising with what he is doing. If we were at least looking like a competent team, they maybe I would change my mind about him, but it seems like we are just waiting for results to go south right now.

      1. Well said RSH, but as long as the coach(Emery) is still contracted to Arsenal he will have my support, I agree you can criticize his tactics and his formation but give him credit when it’s due, some just never see anything good he does, he was given a 2 years contract and by the end of this season his position will be reviewed, so all this negativity will not move the club forward, some even want him gone so some players can still be here when it’s obvious that such players are finished.

        1. Emery frustrates me, and at time I admit i have been unreasonable, but I do see it very fair to at least wait until the end of the season, unless things get very bad. Right now, we are 4th and unconvincing, but 4th nonetheless.

      2. @RSH, Wenger stayed on four years too long, or at the max he should have left in 2016. He still hasn’t managed to digest the monies being paid for even average players. He stayed in old school, while even Aston Villa spent 150million this year. He has his faults, but he made the Club global, creating Arsenal style, bettered only by Barcelona.

  5. And about Xhaka been our choice.

    I was so surprised that people are critizing Emery about the announcement, when someone like me already know our next captain immediately Koscielny left the club.
    The handwritting is already on the wall since last season.

    I don’t let it bother me one bit.

    And come to think of it, Xhaka really fits been a captain than the rest of the square and the only but in it is his game which I will always criticise until he continue playing well.

    With that been said, Vermaelen was our Captain from the bench, so was Per in his last few season. So I don’t see reason to be angry about Xhaka been captain.

    1. I feel your comments miss the point. Xhaka being made captain means Emery is likely to play him in every game.The very vast majority see little in the players game that merits him a place in the team, let alone being captain. He brings very little to our team other than mistakes that cost us goals, too many yellow cards, and a style of play that is far too pedestrian and slow. He creates next to nothing.He very rarely scores.He continually gives away possession.Hardly the credentials got an inspirational Captain are they?
      A captain should lead the team.Have you ever felt Xhaka is capablevof that?

    2. those past examples are why some of us wanted somebody else to be captain. The position became meaningless years ago and the armband just got passed around. It seems Xhaka will start majority of our games, but whether that is rightly so, is a very contested question. I look around the squad and I don’t see any true leader anywhere, but if that is that case, personally I’d go with somebody who leads with their skills and their performances on their pitch. That would make Auba or Lacazette the best choices. Arsenal should solve this problem in the future by emphasizing leadership from our current youth players, who will all hopefully break through and become significant players for years here.

  6. I think the players responses sums up this debate. None of them comments Xhaka for leading by example on the field of play something a team really needs from their leader when things are thick and when they need to squeeze a result from a difficult match.If I were the Arsenal manager with the players we have,Xhaka would be a squad player and not a starter leave alone club captain. How this happens,only Emery knows.

  7. So he plays ever game ( he doesn’t deserve to start one)
    Would play if injured( now there’s a positive 😂)
    He gets bed 100% in training( FFS he’s getting paid to do that as a minimum)

    Awful player and awful captain god knows why
    Man City, Liverpool, PSG, Madrid’s,Barca or Bayern havnt come in for him

  8. The sad thing is there isn’t a proper leader in the squad so he had to give it to someone.

  9. For such an error prone player, added responsibility of captaincy will only make him perform worse in my opinion. Before being a captain, he is one of eleven, who needs to do his part as a player in his playing position demands. If he does that well every game, I don’t mind him being Captain or even the CEO of Arsenal. But he needs to do the first thing every player must do, that’s play his position on the pitch well. Leadership, being vocal, having good character, etc are secondary traits. Xhaka as a captain, I see no problem. But Xhaka as a DM, CDM or as a holding midfielder? He is not good. Any amount of secondary traits such as leadership, being a good figure in the dressing room or in the training ground, having good character, personality etc will not make him a good DM or CDM, at least not in EPL. He has to work on his core skills, even better develop some other qualities of a good DM in the training ground every day, like better tackling, better areal ability, good positioning, less errors and lapses of concentration etc.

    1. Hi Daulat,
      I feel that Xhaka needs some time off and then start playing the cup games, because, added to him being slow a lot of errors have crept in. Ideally Emery should pick the first XI and then name the captain from amongst them while Xhaka can be the captain of the team overall. Much like Per & Kos were.
      I was hoping Emery will do what Wenger did with Cesc and name Guendozi as captain, just because the lad plays with passion (he is error prone too but will learn), or better still Chambers or Holding.
      Emery is repeating the same mistake he did with Mustafi last year, till the time the whole thing blew up and I fear it’ll happen with Xhaka. It was despicable for our fans to boo him the other day, so Emery should stop it from deteriorating further

      1. Hi Viju. I agree he needs some time off. He should train first imo and develop some skills. Lack of pace already puts him at a disadvantage in the EPL. He should work on other skills to negate that, otherwise he is not good enough for EPL. And for the sake of Arsenal and also Xhaka, it would be wise for Emery to take him off and let him train and develop off the field and not in matches that matter. With the physicality of Xhaka, if he develops good game understanding, better positioning, good player marking less error prone tackles, he can be a good asset. But not now.

        But Emery is making matters worse imo by playing Torreira in an attacking role. The combination of Xhaka and Torreira worked well last season, when Torreira played deep and handled the defensive responsibilities and Xhaka could play more freely. That was the template that was working well, but I think Emery decided to change that template to accommodate for Guendouzi. It seems Torreira has fallen down in Emery’s preference, and so he’s starting to tinker with him up front because he has fully decided upon Xhaka and Guendouzi to start in the midfield every game.

        I think Emery is also making Guendouzi work on his creative side as can be seen in last few matches with Guendouzi attempting through balls and lofted balls to Auba. But defensively, both Xhaka and Guendouzi lack pace, so Tierney and Bellerin have to get on board the first team asap. I think that’s what Emery is planning for as the template for the team. Fast fullbacks who can cover space offensively and defensively, which will reduce the pressure on Xhaka and Guendouzi as well as the defense. Xhaka and Guendouzi can provide long balls and passes, a player like Ceballos can link up the midfield with strikers.

        I hope Tierney and Bellerin return to playing regularly asap. Also Holding. Because, Xhaka will always play. And sadly, he never gets injured, for Emery to actually entertain other options instead of him.

  10. If he was scared of playing football against Watford, all I can say is, wait until he’s in that delivery suite Out cold on the floor, perhaps?!

    1. Give the boy a break for calling the team scared, at least now he can wear his captain’s armband over his eyes in the delivery suite when he’s scared 🤣

    2. SUE, do you know something that we dont ?. is xhaka pregnant ?, and when did this happen ?, was it during a training swession down the colney ?.maybe he should go on maternity leave as soon as possible then.if ever a first name told a lie it has to be xhakas , granit ?!, yeah right, being afraid of lowly watford proves that his momma should have called him putty xhaka.perhaps, in all fairness , when the missus has the bairn he might concentrate on the game of footie, for a change.oh, i am so sorry, i am asking for way too much , hahahahaha.

      1. 😂😂😂 just keep the baby away from the academy 😂😂😂 I know that was mean of me, but 1 Granit.. urgh…. 2.. no way!!

      1. 😂😂
        Standard Liege’s fans have been letting flares off at Kings Cross… what’s the betting there’ll be some let off during the game?! So much for the frisking! Is that a flare or are you pleased to see me 😂😂

        1. Haha it’s a good job you said that and not a man 😂😂 did you see Darren Farley doing another Emery video ? He says good evening mid interview 😂😂😂

          1. Haha you noticed that 😂😂😂 first of all good ebening the interview almost over 😅 how’s Coco Sue 😀

          2. He is soooo good and sooo bloody hilarious, Kev! I love it!! 🤣🤣
            Has good days/bad days.. have an appointment tomorrow.. 🤞 thanks Kev 😊

          3. Haha addictive isn’t it Sue the facial expressions 😂😂😂 god, how bad are man utd ? 🙄 Oh no probs Sue hope all is well with her 😊

          4. Messi 2.0 had a quiet game 😂 oh yeah that’s true 😆 did you see Darren Farley doing Wayne Rooney on who wants to be a millionaire ? 😂😂😂

          5. Haha you’ll love it 😆 here we go Sue kick off time they better perform tonight or I’ll send you to sort them out 😀

          6. Awesome! Both players are different class Sue 😀 Tierney is a brilliant left back and Martinelli where did we get him 😮

          7. Good ebening, Kevin 😉 Our best buys of the summer, Kev!! 👊
            I reckon after the break, Tierney will be in! Can’t wait! He’s gonna rack up the assists in no time!
            Then on Sunday it’s back to watching Xhaka 😳

          8. Oh not Xhaka 😞 my god that boy can play can’t he ? Didn’t I tell you he was brilliant? Seen enough of him to know he will be a hit 😄 first of all good ebening 😂 surely willock is ahead of Xhaka ? Good ebening Sue 😂

          9. Aren’t we mean?! I can’t help but laugh at that – like what you did there – twice!! 🤣
            You surely did, Kev (& I took note 😉)
            No chance, he’ll be back.. urgh!

          10. Hahaha blame Darren Farley Sue 🤣🤣🤣 that Wayne Rooney one with the American football helmet is hilarious 😅 did you take note 😉😁 he just slows play up and gets booked every game lol holding and Luiz Sunday please 🙏

          11. Haha reading comments from those bloody Celtic fans one said Tierney sold out for souless no passion club! Offered 50 grand a week more to a far superior team in a far superior league yeah he’s probably lay in bed crying missing out on a full Celtic team beating the mighty cluij 2-0 to a Celtic fan beating cluij is our equivalent of beating someone like Borussia Dortmund 😂😂 Leno, Chambers, Holding, Luiz, Tierney, Torreira, Ceballos, Willock, Martinelli, Aubameyang, Pepe 😁

          12. Ooh I’d love that line up!
            😂😂😂 Borussia Dortmund, brilliant, Kev! Christ I thought they’d have gotten over it by now, besides they still have Scott Sinclair to drool over 😝

          13. Haha no bitter little fans they should be grateful they have boli bolingoli and Scott Brown 😂😂 haha they make a DVD for every foreign team they beat 😅 maybe I should take the reigns Sue ? 😆 The bookies have man utd level favourites with us to win Europa League.. what do they see in that utd team to make them favourites? They can’t even score and have a pe teacher for a manager 😂

          14. But, Kev, they were hard done by yet again. Ole said they should have had a penalty and another against us.. aww poor mancs & fancy having to play on an artificial pitch 😂
            A dvd? They sound just like the spuds – doubt they’ll be making one of Tuesday though – damn!!!
            PE teacher 🤣🤣🤣🤣

        2. now now sue, this is a family site after all , hahahahaha. anymore like that one , hehehehehehe.

  11. I make the occasional comments here and there…..what bothers me is the negativity……and constant inconsiderate and unjustified attacks on our players and technical staff…..,it’s like they pick on a player and harp on him till he is gone…. then they look for the next victim player …… it’s disgusting…..the captain is the leader of the team …….most of it off the pitch….criticize but be constructive and fair. May be read Michael Richards story …..

    1. Ok john constructive criticism here it comes
      Before Xhaka plays again he needs to work hard on his
      Tracking back
      Ball control
      Mobility awareness
      And bravery

      Once he’s changed them he can start in the carabo cup in 2021

    2. Yeah I get that vibe too.

      Nothing wrong with criticizing a player, but the least we can do is be fair and objective.

      What some fans are doing here is scrutinizing every move certain players make and magnifying their errors in an inconsistent manner compared to other players.

      When it comes to ratings, it’s like some fans rate certain players with negative ratings even before the game begins. It reminds me of a study on some kids in school who are disliked by their teachers being given lower scores even before the teachers read their essays. When the identities of the students were concealed, there was a substantial difference in their scores.

      Can we at least try to put our likes and dislikes of certain players aside and just assess them like players without a past? Say in Xhaka’s case, forget Xhaka is Xhaka and just assess him like an unknown player. Otherwise, what’s the point of match ratings? It’s more like past impressions instead of ratings pertaining to a particular match

  12. In all fairness neither of them would come out and openly criticize him in the media no matter what they think.

  13. What are these young guys supposed to say when asked about their captain??

    Are they supposed to say the “the manager made a mistake in picking Xhaka. He doesn’t deserve to be captain and makes us defenders look bad”?

    Not sure Emery would take kindly to that type of public criticism.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs