Unai Emery replies when asked if Mesut Ozil will retain Arsenal captaincy
The Arsenal manager rules out Mesut Ozil retaining the captaincy, urging the German to continue to lead by example
Unai Emery has reiterated that Petr Cech will remain his Arsenal captain despite Mesut Ozil thriving in the role in the goalkeeper’s absence.
The retired Germany international was handed the captain’s armband for the visit of Leicester City at The Emirates on Monday night in their first game since the international break.
Ozil appeared to embrace the role as the World Cup winner led by example to help Arsenal to bounce back from an early own goal to ease to a resounding 3-1 victory.
The 30-year-old cancelled out Hector Bellerin’s own goal with a precise finish after the Spanish defender made amends for his error with an assist for Ozil.
Ozil turned provider for Arsenal’s second goal when the former Real Madrid manager teed up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to edge Emery’s men into a second-half lead.
The Gabon international handed the north London side a two-goal cushion to ensure the Gunners extended their winning run to seven games.
Ozil has often been criticised for his lack of leadership since his £42.5m move to Arsenal from La Liga giants Real Madrid in the 2013 summer transfer window.
However, the Arsenal number 10 answered his critics with an impressive captain’s performance in Monday night’s 3-1 win over Leicester.
While Emery ruled out Ozil taking over the skipper’s armband from Cech on a permanent basis, the Arsenal manager urged the German playmaker to continue to show his leadership skills.
“We have our captain – it’s very clear,” Emery is quote as saying by Metro when asked if Ozil would keep the armband.
“I think he can play every match with this commitment and, with his quality, he can play like this whether he’s captain or not captain.
“We have to demand for us every match each player with this commitment and this behaviour can help us together on the pitch.”
He added: “I think we have in the team a lot of players with this capacity [for leadership]. Also each player can help us with their quality or their capacity.
“Today for example it’s not easy to play with [Stephan] Lichtsteiner at left back it is hard to progress up the pitch… [but showed] his attitude and commitment was very important, the same as [Granit] Xhaka when he moved to left back. Same with Mesut.”
Ozil has scored three goals and has made one assist in nine games in the Premier League in the current campaign.
The World Cup winner will be hoping to continue his excellent form against BATE Borisov in the Europa League on Thursday night.
The former Germany international will be hoping that he can help Arsenal to extend their winning run to eight games against Crystal Palace at The Emirates on Sunday.