Mikel Arteta has made Alexandre Lacazette Arsenal captain for their Premier League clash with West Ham United after stripping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the armband
Mikel Arteta has revealed his reasoning behind making Alexandre Lacazette captain for Arsenal ‘s match against West Ham United.
The Gunners boss stripped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the armband this week after yet another disciplinary breach and left him out of the squad for Wednesday’s Premier League clash.
Pre-match, Arteta had described the situation as “unpleasant” but insisted that he would not make any “rash decisions” on who will be named skipper on a permanent basis.
The Spaniard then explained the choice of Lacazette for the West Ham game, telling BT Sport : “It’s just to give some continuity to what we did in the last game.
“It was Laca captain so we continue like this.”
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The Arsenal boss added: “That’s the choice we made at the start of the season with the captaincy order we have in the squad and we’re going to maintain that.”
Quizzed on how long Aubameyang’s exclusion will last after also missing the victory over Southampton on Saturday, Arteta was coy.
“For now he’s not involved in the squad and I want to focus on the game today,” he responded.
Arteta’s thinking is why Granit Xhaka could also be handed back the armband, having been stripped of it himself during former manager Unai Emery ‘s time in charge.
Asked directly if the Switzerland skipper could retake the role, Arteta stated: “Granit is one of the captains and he’s part of the leadership group and is a really important player for us.”
Gunners legend Martin Keown gave his verdict on the saga to BT after hearing Arteta’s comments, describing the decision to strip Aubameyang of the armband as “very bold.”
“Well it is one hour before what is a really important game,” Keown began. “I think he’s anxious to put him behind him.
“I do feel as if it was a very bold decision to pull the captaincy from Aubameyang. I do feel it could’ve been left until the end of the season because I just fear for Aubameyang and how we get him back onto the field because he’s going to be an important player at some point.
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“You don’t have that sort of quality and just disappear from the group. That’s my biggest concern.
“Obviously there’s an appetite for change and he must be a serially offender in terms of the misdemeanors that have gone on off the field but over the years there have been captains who have offended far more than this with ill-discipline and kept the captaincy because they were leaders of men.
“They don’t feel, clearly, that he’s a true leader.”
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