There isn’t a lot for Arsenal to be optimistic about, but Unai Emery can take the right steps by picking a captain that can actually unify and not divide.
In my time here at Pain In The Arsenal, I’ve had a lot of crusades. Olivier Giroud, Granit Xhaka, Lucas Perez, Joel Campbell… but I’ve also had the “just give the club a good captain, damnit,” crusade, and that one carries on right now.
There is next to no unity at the club right now. The board backs Unai Emery. The players support each other, mostly. The fans support no one. It’s not clear if the players are jiving with Emery, but we know some specifically aren’t, like Granit Xhaka. And Xhaka also reports that the players have support him so… draw your own conclusions.
I thought Granit Xhaka was the perfect captain. I still do. But for the sake of my current argument, I’ll say that since so many “fans” (notice the quotation marks) didn’t like him, maybe it was always only going to encourage more division by appointing him. That makes sense.
But to follow up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who isn’t a leader and canoodles with certain YouTube channels that suck eggs, that’s just compounding on an iffy decision with a downright bad decision.
What qualities does Aubameyang have that make him a good captain? I’m dying to know. He scores goals and drives fancy cars. That his thing. That’s not a captain.
You want a good captain? Pick someone who is outspokenly optimistic. Someone who loves the club, grows with the club, and who’s performances never seem to suffer no matter what the state of the club is in.
Take someone who encourages unity, not division. Someone who fans would have no beef with. Someone the players respect. Who might that be? Let’s get into the three guys I have in mind.
3. Matteo Guendouzi
Some think it might be a bit early for Matteo Guendouzi to be captain, but I say that if you’re willing to give it to the most controversial player on the team and then give it to a guy who actively supports a toxic “fan” platform, then what’s the point in hiding behind age barriers?
Guendouzi is already a leader on this team, he plays centrally, he plays in nearly every match, Premier League or not, and when you get down to it, you never see him spouting any negativity. Not to mention he is one of the few players on the team that is unanimously loved by everyone.
But I understand that some may see his age as too young to be a captain. Plus he’s only been at the club for a year and a half. So I have two other better ideas. No. 2 is next.