Unai Emery nails captain misconception
"These are the type of individuals that Arsenal have lacked for so many years. Under Arsene Wenger, the squad has been absent of players willing to criticise, to sharpen, to fine-tune and to improve one another. It is one of the key aspects of Unai Emery’s squad revolution this summer."
"And Emery touched on the subject in a press conference this week prior to the first preseason match of the summer against Boreham Wood at the weekend. When asked about who the captain will be, Emery had this to say, which I think is very interesting indeed:
“We’ve spoken about that [the captaincy]. 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. 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 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 that.”
"That is very refreshing to hear. Without explicitly demeaning the question of the captaincy, Emery essentially states that it is not important by highlighting the need for far more than just one captain-like figure in the squad and team. Arsenal, for instance, may have had good captains in recent years like Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker, but they have not had good leaders around them.
"Emery, by wanting five captains, is directly challenging the notion of the importance of the captain. While having leaders is important, having one captain is not, and this is what Emery is wanting to highlight. The transfer work of the summer is further indicative of this. There is a reason Arsenal signed a 34-year-old right-back who has won seven Serie A titles in succession and is the captain of his national side."