Arsenal players held a secret vote to help Unai Emery decide on his new ‘five captains’… with Granit Xhaka, Mesut Ozil, Rob Holding and David Luiz all in the running
Unai Emery made players vote for who should become the next Arsenal skipper
The Spanish manager wants five players to share the armband, not one captain
Granit Xhaka has been captain so far in league but was booed by his own fans
Mesut Ozil and Rob Holding have also been captain this season
Unai Emery held a secret dressing-room poll for who should become his next group of five Arsenal captains.
Emery introduced a pool of five players last season to share the responsibility of leading the squad, but that is now depleted since the departures of Aaron Ramsey, Laurent Koscielny and Petr Cech in the summer.
Granit Xhaka has skippered the side in every league game so far this season, while out-of-favour midfielder Mesut Ozil took the responsibility against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup.
Rob Holding (left) has lifted the lid on a secret vote in the Arsenal dressing room to determine the next ‘five captains’. Granit Xhaka (right) has been captain in every league game this season
And Rob Holding, who was himself passed the armband against Forest after Ozil was withdrawn, has revealed there is still a group of five who Emery will choose from.
Holding made his first Arsenal appearance since December 2018 in the Carabao Cup game and and scored just seconds after taking over as captain.
‘He likes his five captains. We all did a vote the other week so we’ll see what happens and see who gets named,’ said Holding.
Unai Emery wants another group of five players to be the next Arsenal captains all together
‘It was just write names down and then give them to the manager and he will go through them obviously with his input and we’ll see what happens.
‘I have no idea (when an announcement will be made), but there is a lot of leaders in that team who are helping each other out and pushing each other on.
‘Now that we’ve got these five captains that the manager has brought in it’s spreading the leadership group rather than having one person to dictate it.
‘You’re getting more input, it’s generating a good environment.’
Playmaker Mesut Ozil was a member of the original group of five captains last season
Xhaka has started as captain in every Premier League game so far this season but has been criticised this season, including being booed by his own fans against Aston Villa, but Holding defended the Swiss international.
‘I love Granit in the changing room. I think he is great. He is really switched on to people being late, people using the phones. He is quick to dishing out the fines,’ said Holding.
‘I think he is a great leader and just another positive person to have in the changing room.
‘He is very sort of demanding and makes demand of us. He puts accountability on ourselves, which is important as a leader.’
The English defender also spoke highly of £6million summer signing David Luiz’s leadership skills.
Holding says there are several leaders in the Arsenal team, including David Luiz
Who could step up?
Bernd Leno, Emiliano Martinez, Matt Macey.
Hector Bellerin, Sokratis, Rob Holding, Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers, David Luiz, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Sead Kolasinac, Joel Lopez, Kieran Tierney.
Dani Ceballos, Mesut Ozil, Lucas Torreira, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Matteo Guendouzi, Granit Xhaka, Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, Emile Smith-Rowe
‘For sure. You can see it in training. The way Luiz has come in and when he is talking in front of the group he speaks really well.
‘He speaks highly of us so he’s a good addition to bring in.’
Holding said he himself is eager to take the armband again having been given a taste of it in the last game.
‘I would love to be a captain and being captain of Arsenal is unbelievable. It would be a great feeling,’ he said.
‘We will see what happens in the next couple of weeks. If I get it, then I’ll be more than happy and honoured to do it.’