When Granit Xhaka was appointed Arsenal club captain he seemed destined to break the current captain’s curse but it seems the black magic is strong in this one.

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 19: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal applauds the fans after the UEFA Europa League group F match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Arsenal FC at on September 19, 2019 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bongarts/Getty Images)
FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 19: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal applauds the fans after the UEFA Europa League group F match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Arsenal FC at on September 19, 2019 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bongarts/Getty Images)

I don’t hate Granit Xhaka like some.

I don’t overly love him either. He’s a very good player who frequently makes very big mistakes. If I’d had the choice, I’d have made Hector Bellerin the club captain, but that’s just me.

DUBLIN, IRELAND - SEPTEMBER 05: Granit Xhaka of Switzerland celebrates the goal of Fabian Schar during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier between Republic of Ireland and Switzerland at Aviva Stadium on September 05, 2019 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND – SEPTEMBER 05: Granit Xhaka of Switzerland celebrates the goal of Fabian Schar during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier between Republic of Ireland and Switzerland at Aviva Stadium on September 05, 2019 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Few Arsenal fans would have went for the Swiss midfielder, despite his country also naming him captain and his former club. He clearly has something about him that many of us are missing.

MOENCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY - MAY 07: Granit Xhaka of Moenchengladbach looks on during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen at Borussia-Park on May 07, 2016 in Moenchengladbach, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Bongarts/Getty Images)DUBLIN, IRELAND - SEPTEMBER 05: Granit Xhaka of Switzerland celebrates the goal of Fabian Schar during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier between Republic of Ireland and Switzerland at Aviva Stadium on September 05, 2019 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
MOENCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY – MAY 07: Granit Xhaka of Moenchengladbach looks on during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen at Borussia-Park on May 07, 2016 in Moenchengladbach, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Bongarts/Getty Images)DUBLIN, IRELAND – SEPTEMBER 05: Granit Xhaka of Switzerland celebrates the goal of Fabian Schar during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier between Republic of Ireland and Switzerland at Aviva Stadium on September 05, 2019 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Still, here we are with him appointed and stripped of the captaincy in just a few months. And he was an actual match-playing captain, too.

Rather than giving the armband to players who are best suited for it, Arsenal have often used the captaincy as a bribe to get players to stay [Hello Pierre].

Once Patrick Vieira left for Italy in 2005, it really started to go wrong.

First, it was given to Thierry Henry. Sure, he is the club’s all-time leading goalscorer but by the time he got the captaincy he’d reached levels of arrogance that made him harder to like.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - AUGUST 31: Thierry Henry assistant manager of Belgium looks on prior to the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between Belgium and Gibraltar at Stade Maurice Dufrasne on August 31, 2017 in Liege, Belgium. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

He left two seasons later after captaining us to a Champions League final defeat.

Then, for reasons we will never understand, William Gallas, already causing a sacrilege by wearing the number 10 shirt, showed us just what a bad captain really looked like.

He was at the club for three years before he left for Spurs on a free having been stripped of the captaincy after only one season and his one-man sit-down protest at Birmingham. Jens Lehmann even admitted they couldn’t believe that Wenger had made him captain. Nobody could.

Arsenal's French defender William Gallas during a training session at the club's complex in London Colney, on March 30, 2010. Arsenal are to play Barcelona in the quarter-final of the UEFA Champions League Wednesday. (ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Arsenal’s French defender William Gallas during a training session at the club’s complex in London Colney, on March 30, 2010. Arsenal are to play Barcelona in the quarter-final of the UEFA Champions League Wednesday. (ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Cesc Fabregas was next up and it could be argued this was a decent call but, of course, he ended up leaving too but not before going on strike. At least he managed three years with the armband even if its powers did turn his legs to silly string the longer he wore it.

Arsenal's Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas celebrates scoring the second goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and West Ham United at the Emirates stadium, north London on March 20, 2010. AFP PHOTO/GLYN KIRK
Arsenal’s Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas celebrates scoring the second goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and West Ham United at the Emirates stadium, north London on March 20, 2010. AFP PHOTO/GLYN KIRK

It was then handed to Robin van Persie, a player who had been cursed by injuries without the pressure of the armband. Miraculously, it seemed to infuse him with some sort of heavenly power as he finally found fitness and form before screwing the club, trying to turn the fans against it, and buggering off to Manchester United where he won them the league a year later.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – MARCH 08: Robin van Persie of Arsenal reacts as referee Massimo Busacca shows his a red card during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Thomas Vermaelen has perhaps paid the heaviest price of all Arsenal captains. He wore the armband for two seasons before leaving for Barcelona as well. A great player until he was handed the small bit of cloth, he made only 60 appearances as captain and played just 65 times, averaging 55 minutes per game, since he left the club for Spain until he moved to Japan where he seems to have found his fitness again.

Belgium's defender Thomas Vermaelen gestures during a press conference at Le Haillan, south-western France, on June 14, 2016, during the Euro 2016 football tournament. (EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Belgium’s defender Thomas Vermaelen gestures during a press conference at Le Haillan, south-western France, on June 14, 2016, during the Euro 2016 football tournament. (EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

It then found its way to Mikel Arteta who was a superb choice in theory but, again, showed himself to be more of a non-playing captain. He held the position for two seasons before he was forced to retire because of his injury problems. Arteta played just 416 minutes in his final season as Arsenal captain.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Captain Mikel Arteta of Arsenal lifts the trophy after their 1-0 win in the FA Community Shield match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on August 2, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 02: Captain Mikel Arteta of Arsenal lifts the trophy after their 1-0 win in the FA Community Shield match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on August 2, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Laurent Koscielny was certainly a choice all Arsenal fans could get behind and the Frenchman really looked like he had found a way to end the curse.

Of course, as we now know, he hadn’t.

He had the armband for three years and, in that time, suffered thigh problems and a facial smash plus his Achilles exploded causing him to miss France winning the World Cup. Then, he went on strike to force an exit from the club.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal celebrates his team's victory after the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Emirates Stadium on January 19, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 19: Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal celebrates his team’s victory after the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Emirates Stadium on January 19, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

If Unai Emery thought he could side-step the problem by naming five captains when he first arrived then he was wrong.

He just made things worse.

By the end of the summer, only Xhaka and Mesut Ozil remained from the five he named at the start of his first season in charge. Ozil being named as fifth captain while Emery continues to treat him like sh*t seems more of an insult than an honour.

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - MAY 29: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal looks dejected during the UEFA Europa League Final between Chelsea and Arsenal at Baku Olimpiya Stadionu on May 29, 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN – MAY 29: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal looks dejected during the UEFA Europa League Final between Chelsea and Arsenal at Baku Olimpiya Stadionu on May 29, 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Of course, despite all this, there is no such thing as a ‘curse’ even if it seems like there is.

The Arsenal captaincy is a microcosm of the club as a whole.

With three captains going on strike in the last 12 years and three being stripped of the honour, can Aubameyang turn it around or is this just his final step on the way out the door next summer?

A version on parts of this article first appeared on Paddy Power.