We all have to be captains – Xhaka issues Arsenal rallying call

first_imgGranit Xhaka is still hopeful of being named as Unai Emery’s captain at Arsenal for the coming season, but says the whole team have to be able to show leadership.With current incumbent Laurent Koscielny looking to force a move away from the club, Emery is looking for a new figure to wear the armband and Xhaka would relish the opportunity.His next appearance in the Premier League will be his 100th for Arsenal. With over 300 appearances in his club career to date and eight years of international football under his belt, he is an experienced figure despite still being only 26. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? “Nobody has spoken about the captain’s armband,” Xhaka told Arsenal Player.“The coach hasn’t decided but if I have the armband, of course I will be happy. It’s something special but in the end we have to all be captains on and off the pitch because we need everyone.”Xhaka was speaking after Arsenal lost their final game of pre-season, throwing away a 1-0 lead at Camp Nou to hand the Joan Gamper Trophy to Barcelona.Mesut Ozil’s fine assist was complemented by an even better finish from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to see Arsenal leading at half-time, but they couldn’t hold on.A mix-up between Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Bernd Leno allowed Barca back into the game, before former Gunners transfer target Luis Suarez won it at the death.Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Mesut Ozil Arsenal“I think we have had the same situation in the past as well,” Xhaka admitted.“We played very well but in the end we don’t take anything. We have to learn to concentrate throughout the 90 minutes in future to take something.“Of course there are positives and negatives as well. Today we played against a good opposition in Barcelona.“The first half was very good, the second half was OK. We were under a bit more pressure than in the first half, but in the end we have to improve. We have to look at the bad things and keep the good things.”Arsenal leave the sunny climes of Catalunya to prepare for their opening game of the Premier League season, an away fixture at Steve Bruce’s Newcastle.Following their first home game of the season against Burnley, they then face a daunting double-header with clashes against Champions League winners Liverpool and finalists Tottenham. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img

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