Unai Emery spoke to the media this week and was quizzed about his views on his squad, his new signings and much more. The Spaniard dealt with the grilling well, and his English is definitely improving, which is a sure sign of the intelligence of the man to pick up another language in such a short space of time.
One of the other subjects Emery was asked about was the fate of the captains armband. Previous captain Per Mertesacker os now head of our Academy, with Vice Captain Laurent Koscielny out long term with injury.
The Spaniard moved to quell any rumours regarding the Frenchman losing the honour of the captaincy, but also touched on the fact he believes the team has many capable leaders and who will lead the team out for our first game of the season versus City;
“My idea is to know every player and to know also, the personality of the players. And then, I think my first idea is to have five captains in the team. But at the moment, I don’t know the names.”
Emery continued, saying, “I need to know more and also, firstly, Koscielny is the first captain now and for me, I have respect for that. Then we are looking at, looking for, who are the players whose personality is the best in the dressing room. We want to keep the respect for these players and to find the captain and choose very well the best player for this.”
So, who could be the five captains? Before our recruitment drive, it could be said that we didn’t have the right amount of leadership in our ranks. How will Emery choose five, and who will they be?
Petr Cech is an obvious choice, aside from the fact that goalkeepers aren’t always the first choice. With his experience of leading a defence, the stopper could be a good bet.
Then there is Aaron Ramsey, who is good friends with Mertesacker and seems to have the respect of his teammates. Whether he will stick around long enough to take the armband is up for discussion.
Granit Xhaka has an iron will and a fierce competitive desire, which could spur on his teammates, so the Swiss man is another who could be on the shortlist.
From our new buys, Stephane Lichtsteiner is the captain of the Swiss team and knows how to lead a winning team, and Sokratis may well be the rock solid defender who others look up to.
Other than this, there doesn’t seem to be another outstanding candidate. It will be very interesting to watch the developments as they happen in the runup to the first game of the season, but one thing is for sure - Emery’s arrival has shaken the club from its slumber and changes are being made that needed to happen.