Official: Granit Xhaka Stripped of Arsenal Captaincy

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Granit Xhaka
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on November 05, 2019 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

In what can only be described as an inevitable turn of events, Arsenal‘s Granit Xhaka has lost the club captaincy. Unai Emery confirmed the decision ahead of the Gunners’ Europa League tie against Vitoria Guimaraes on Wednesday.

Granit Xhaka Stripped of Arsenal Armband

Inevitable

Few will be surprised at Unai Emery’s decision after the club’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace last month. On that night, Xhaka goaded fans to jeer him, threw the armband to the ground by the feet of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and tore off his shirt before storming off the pitch.

That behaviour tied the hands of both the player’s coach and club. A captain cannot act in such a way, regardless of the fact that the treatment Xhaka received was overly harsh.

Unai Emery previously avoided the question of the captaincy. Subsequent to the event, the head coach confirmed Xhaka’s feelings of remorse, yet refused to clarify the future of the then club captain.

“He is now devastated, devastated and sad. We spoke yesterday and on Sunday night I also spoke. This morning, he trained as normal with the group but he is devastated and he is sad about the situation.

“No, no, no – at the moment, I am not speaking and I don’t want to speak about that [his future as captain]. The first is for him to recover. We cannot anticipate the circumstance because I we are going to play a match on Wednesday, on Saturday and I prefer to keep moving, taking each step, and taking the best decision possible.”

However, Emery finally made his decision clear ahead of Wednesday’s match.

‘Auba’ Named Captain

Aubameyang is now the main club captain with the three deputees remaining the same: Alexandre Lacazette, Hector Bellerin and Mesut Ozil.

“We have now Aubameyang, Hector, Lacazette and Ozil. They are the four captains and the first now is Aubameyang.”

This news will surely lift a fan base who will worry about the club’s European fate for next season as they prepare to face third-place Leicester City at the weekend.

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