Unai Emery defends decision to appoint Granit Xhaka as Arsenal captain
Arsenal boss Unai Emery defends the decision to make Granit Xhaka the new club captain
Unai Emery has reiterated that Gunners club captain Granit Xhaka has the Arsenal manager’s complete backing.
The Spanish head coach decided to hand Xhaka the captain’s armband earlier this season after Laurent Koscielny quit Arsenal to move to Ligue 1 side Bordeaux.
The Arsenal squad were given the chance to vote for Koscielny’s successor, with Xhaka coming out top ahead of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil.
Although Xhaka’s commitment to the Arsenal cause is clear in most games, the Switzerland international is prone to a rash tackle or an untimely error.
The 27-year-old has been criticised by some Arsenal supporters in the current campaign as questions were raised about Emery’s decision to make Xhaka club captain.
Speaking at his pre-match media conference on Friday ahead of Arsenal’s home clash against Bournemouth, Emery defended Xhaka’s appointment:
“They [the players], with the vote, it gave him confidence and I also gave him that confidence after that.
“And now – small things or big things – we are going to work individually and collectively to be strong.
“And also to show our supporters, and to show in our way, how we can be strong with all the players and that captain.
“I also have big confidence and trust in every player, the captain [and the others] because I think now in the dressing room we have a very good spirit.”
Arsenal have only lost one Premier League game so far this season following a 3-1 defeat by Liverpool FC at Anfield.
The Gunners played out a 1-1 draw with bitter rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday night.
The north London side returned to Europa League action on Thursday with a resounding 4-0 victory over Belgian outfit Standard Liege at The Emirates.
Arsenal finished in fifth spot in the Premier League table last term.