Arteta: Arsenal need clarity and stability around captaincy


The new Gunners boss believes the club’s leaders need to step up, but he won’t be making any changes to the set-up

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes the club must create stability and clarity when it comes to their captain moving forward. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the current Gunners skipper after Granit Xhaka was stripped of the armband last year after clashing with fans in October. 

Former Arsenal coach Unai Emery had initially established a five-man leadership group containing Aubameyang and Xhaha along with Hector Bellerin, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil.

A blind vote within the club saw Xhaka picked as captain at the start of the season before Aubameyang was called on to step up. 

While Arteta has ruled out further captaincy changes, he has stressed the club must make sure their leaders are having the right impact. 

“The more stability we can generate with our captain and the players we have in the squad, I think the more clarity we will have to transmit to the fans what we are trying to do,” Arteta said. 

“There are many factors, some we cannot control, but at the moment everything is ok and not the time for me to change things in place because I haven’t seen real things to make the decisions.

“I have been at clubs that have four or five captains. It is more a leadership group than captains. At the end, it is one guy wearing the armband and after the team picks the leaders.

“The moment they pick the leaders is when someone talks if they listen or they are looking at the roof. That is when you see.

“The moment you start to see different groups, they have leaders in this groups, but they are not shared in the best common interests of the group and this is what I wanted to avoid.

“We have some leaders, some are more leaders on the pitch and some more outside the pitch. Some have influence to players that is very necessary. We want to bring all together.”

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Arteta himself captained the Gunners as a player and revealed he thought Arsene Wenger made a mistake when he was first handed the armband in 2012. 

“I didn’t know. I arrived and I had the armband next to my t-shirt. I asked Arsene ‘boss, this is here, is it a mistake?’ He said ‘no, you are the captain’ and I was like ok, good,” he said.

“It felt incredible. I wasn’t here a long time and he put a lot of faith in me just when I arrived. I was very privileged and honoured.”


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