Unai Emery is to consult his players about keeping Granit Xhaka on as captain, seemingly completely unaware that the fans didn’t want Xhaka as their captain in the first place.
The Daily Mail write today that “Granit Xhaka was clinging to the Arsenal captaincy last night, with manager Unai Emery ready to consult his players before deciding whether the midfielder should keep the armband. Emery is fearful of a backlash if he strips the Switzerland international of the captaincy.”
Whether you agree or not with the fans’ decision to cheer then boo Xhaka on Sunday, an Arsenal captain cannot behave like he did. His substitution was initially cheered at which point, despite running off when his number was up in previous games, he started a slow walk off the pitch with Arsenal still trying to win the game. This prompted boos which he then reacted to by cupping his ear and swearing at the fans.
Emery may well want to keep the players happy but he’d be well advised not to ignore the fans who already dislike him as well as his player.
Sami Mokbel goes on to write, “there are concerns within the club that Emery has misjudged the importance of the captaincy since he arrived at the start of last season.
“There is understood to be a reluctance in the technical staff to strip Xhaka of the captaincy — despite Emery saying the Swiss was wrong to react as he did on Sunday.”
Mokbel also adds that, while the players seem to be in support of Xhaka, they are concerned about Emery. Many remain unconvinced by his confusing methods in training (and matches) in regards to his instructions and tactics which have stifled the team’s creativity.
They have also questioned his marginalisation of Mesut Ozil.