Instead of simply choosing captains of his own team, Arsenal boss Unai Emery has decided to ask the squad for their opinion. According to Rob Holding, the Spaniard asked his players to write down their suggestions for captains on a piece of paper and hand it to him for consideration.
Although strictly speaking the club are required to have only one skipper, clubs can decide to choose more than one just to be on the safe side. While Liverpool, for example, have three, last season Arsenal had five: Laurent Koscielny, Petr Cech, Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil. Of these five, Xhaka and Ozil are the only two candidates who are still at the club this season, as Koscielny and Ramsey have recently moved to new clubs and Cech has made the decision to retire from professional football.
However, Arsenal fans seem unconvinced that Xhaka is the right choice for the captain. Dissatisfied with his lack of form and poor performance, the fans jeered Xhaka as he was leaving the pitch after being replaced by Joe Willock nearing the end of their 3-2 home win against Aston Villa last weekend, prompting Emery to ask the fanbase to show their support to Xhaka and the rest of the team.
As far as Ozil is concerned, however, he has been practically invisible this season, hardly what one would call an exemplary captain. The fact that he was involved in a car-jack this past summer might have played a part in his absence during the first couple of games of the season, but Emery’s reluctance to put his midfielder to use suggests there might be other problems as well.
Regarding the whole captaincy situations Rob Holding said that the coach liked having five captains and that they were all asked for their input. Holding believes it might be a tough decision though, as there are many players with leadership skills who help and push each other. He believes that choosing five captains is a good thing because it is a way of spreading the leadership group, whereas asking the squad for their opinion is generating a good atmosphere.