Emery takes the captaincy issue… to the players?! Oh my.

by .

Nonsense never sleeps at Arsenal. The Telegraph is reporting that Unai Emery, a man suffering third-degree burns from his last democratic election (Xhaka for captain), is once again canvassing the squad for their opinions on whether to sack Xhaka as captain (#XhakaOut).

You couldn’t make it up.

Firstly, the players voted him in. They are not good decision-makers. If this were Manchester City, I’d understand, but Arsenal? Please. They’re not voting for what’s good for them. Secondly, does Unai have an advisor? An agent? A friend? Someone intervene and explain to this man what leadership is.

You don’t ask the team who should get fired. You don’t vote for promotions. This habit of sharing poor decision making is incredibly beta male and I have no idea why no one at the club has thought to intervene. Emery was doing it last season without oversight (motivational speeches from the fucking travel booker), and he’s at it again this season. Where is Edu in all of this?

It’s not a surprise either, all this information was out there when we hired him. This is the manager on power at big clubs shortly before he joined us.

‘I am of the opinion that PSG’s leader is Neymar. Or that he is currently becoming it. Neymar came to PSG to be the leader, to go through this process to someday become the best in the world. At Manchester City, Pep is in charge. At PSG, Neymar has to be.’

Distilled: The manager at Manchester City is the manager. The manager at PSG, where I was, is Neymar.

Quite an incredible statement to make public, but again, not surprising if you’ve paid attention to his behaviour over the past 15 months.

My prediction? I think something else Emery said in the same interview could be pertinent.

I think that I managed the dressing room quite well. My greatest satisfaction was that the team didn’t sink, after losing against Barcelona or Real Madrid. A few weeks ago for example, we had a horrible first half against Saint-Étienne, but after the break, with one player sent off, we reacted well and managed to equalise. One of my staff members told me, “Unai, today the players showed that they are with you. If that weren’t the case, we would have lost.”

And he was right. If the team wanted to end me, that would have been the moment to do so. But the team was able to react. That was my main satisfaction, even if this will remain something personal which won’t matter for much from an external point of view. Of course, I don’t control everything. Both round of 16 eliminations showed that. It is difficult to control the necessary elements with a big team, and I still need to improve in that respect.

Emery has very little control over the dressing room at Arsenal. His captain hasn’t apologised a day after his disgraceful actions. Lacazette is out here liking #EmeryOut posts on Instagram, then retracting when people paid attention. Players are leaking to the press that the dressing room is split. Ozil is running amock with his peaceful protests now the manager and Edu doubled down on making him a martyr. We have Liverpool, Wolves and Leicester next in the league

Blood is in the water. I am very much doubtful Emery has the resources to rescue this. I think the players might give up on him… then we’re in a whole world of trouble because according to Ornstein, Edu doesn’t have a contingency plan.

Not good enough. Our strategy, Champions League qualification, is an objective. That is no way to build a football club. It’s likely why we stuck with a bad manager. On paper, he has what we need in the short term. But paycheque to paycheque seasons is no way to build a winning machine and we’re seeing the fruits of that for the second season running. The big worry, as I said yesterday, is that a club with no plan will always opt for Jose Mourinho. A toxic has been with a jerrycan and a box of matches.

Beware the obvious choice…

I have been up late to record a podcast with Matt, a more considered offering can be found there! Enjoy.

DropboxiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify

496 Responses to “Emery takes the captaincy issue… to the players?! Oh my.”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Luteo Guenreira

    This Emery bashing is a reaction to years of suppressed anger from AKB’s

    Red everything doesn’t have to be a dichotomy, regardless of whether it is or not is immaterial. There’s no reason to continue putting up the failures of the Wenger era as if it has any real bearing on the state of things currently. It doesn’t. It sucked then toward his end years, it sucks now under Emery. Pointing out the obvious of it sucking back then doesn’t make the current state any more palatable, not any longer.

  2. Valentin

    In the grand scheme of things, an apology from Xhaka will not change anything. He will still be boo by a large section of fans because he represents the current mediocrity of that team and is viewed as the headcoach’s undeserving pet.

    The only one who can make a real difference is Emery by selecting the right formation and the right players. Get a few good performances and a few good results and the “crisis” will be forgotten.

    Win convincingly against Wolves and Leicester and both will buy some respite. Lose to both or produce below par performances and the native will be restless.

  3. Ishola70

    That Auba incident is just a few retards with low intelligence.

    A mere few inbreds.

    Things can get overblown.

    By overblowing these incidents these pond life get more importance than they should.

    They should be laughed at rather than being vexed over.

  4. China1

    If it’s actually true that xhaka is getting counseling and emery will let the players decide the captain again then I’m almost at a loss for words

    I’d frankly rather xhaka spend his counseling time on the training ground learning how to be a less terrible football player but hey that’s just me

    Only arsenal pick the worst club captain in modern club history then respond to fan anger by offering the player counseling.

    Is this the next level is the next level wenger was speaking of?

  5. Nelson

    “What kind of sick individual would wish cancer on Xhaka new born baby and that his wife is raped and run down?”

    SPUDs fans can do that.

  6. Dissenter

    “In the grand scheme of things, an apology from Xhaka will not change anything. He will still be boo by a large section of fans because he represents the current mediocrity of that team and is viewed as the headcoach’s undeserving pet.”

    An apology will be the first step to some type of healing, probably will still end up with a nasty eschar.
    Some fans will boo because they can but most fans want to just draw a line under it and move on. The boo boys will be silenced by the polite applause of the vast majority.

  7. chef

    From Guardian:

    “Xhaka feels particularly hurt because, from his perspective, his commitment to the club has been unstinting. He is frequently the first player to arrive at the training ground and the last to leave, even though he became a father for the first time earlier this month.”

    I agree he’s been rubbish for us except in the 22 game run. Points to what many are saying here – Emery is screwing things up tactically. He’s putting our players in positions where it’s harder for them to succeed.

    In man-management, it looks to me like Emery has also been keen to use Xhaka’s eagerness to the cause to “shield” himself.

    In my opinion, Emery needs to go yesterday. i was telling my colleagues that he’s Spanish David Moyes, but now I think he is much really much worse than that. But he is good at following the board’s instructions and that is in his favour.

    Granit is made the posterboy of Emery’s failure and now he’s broken.

  8. grooveydaddy

    Without an apology, I reckon he’ll get pelters from the home crowd if Emery is stupid enough to send him out on the pitch wearing the armband.

  9. Tony

    Looks like the fans are pissed at Auba as well.

    Xhaka’s antics seemed to have riled the fans at more than Xhaka’s poor behavioral discipline.

    Raul & co need to detox the toxicity within the club and make a statement to the fans, nit just offer Xhaka counseling as is being reported this morning.

    “‘£2,000 a year to watch s***… f*** off!’: Arsenal fans direct abuse at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after his Lamborghini Aventador gets stuck in traffic

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was driving home after Arsenal’s draw on Sunday

    Emotions were high after the 2-2 against Crystal Palace at the Emirates

    Granit Xhaka had told fans to ‘f*** off’ after he was subbed off in the second half

    While Aubameyang was in traffic, abuse was directed his way by Arsenal fans
    On the footage that has appeared on social media, he is told to ‘f*** off!’ ”



    Pathetic way to run a club of Arsenal’s history and stature in the game.

  10. Guns of sf

    China good summary. We ruthless in cutting deadwood finally and now soft on disciplining current players. Like wtf

    Xhaka if he has a brain would return the armband to emery but he is too dense to see reality

    Xhaka is emery scapegoat as is ozil
    Emery needs to have attention drawn away from him and both these losers are the perfect foil

  11. Mics

    Tony, I agree with your conclusion. I am a bit skeptical of anything daily mail, but jeez, who the hell are these wankers, accosting footballers while they’re in traffic!? Who does that!!

  12. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal’s season sofar in EPL has been indifferent and we have been fortuitous to have got currently 5th place and 16 points on current performance level.

    The current situation is not down to one player so blaming Xhaka is not solely
    at fault for our failings either as captain or at DMF.

    We cannot blame individual players for poor performance whether it be Ozil,
    Mustafi or for that matter Maitland-Niles.

    The reality is that for all the investment made in the squad in recent seasons
    it looks unbalanced and dysfunctional and does not match expectation. On current form we are at best an average side perhaps 6-8 level in EPL.

    My view is that we struggle, because there is no creativity in midfield and our
    defence does not play as a unit and lacks organisation and leadership.

    Many of the failings are down to the Head Coach but not all. Nevertheless his
    game plan,poor English and fairly inarticulate communication skills are part of the problem.

    Arsenal are not a club who will make rash decisions albeit there are now new
    owners and senior management in place. Emery has probably a lifeline until
    end of this season to prove himself.

    However, I don’t think that he will survive beyond that date if we fail to qualify
    for Champions League particularly if we lose several strategic players.

  13. Dark Hei


    To carry on from yesterday, I think Emery is using his players as a foil to deflect blame away from himself, as neatly put by Guns.

    And I find such self serving weaselly behavior particularly chaffing.

  14. grooveydaddy


    The woman in that video is Preciana Brown – a first class idiot by all accounts.

    A training ground stalker who peddled fake ITK news all summer as well getting caught out selling fake autographed memorabilia. I reckon she asked for an autograph and Auba couldn’t he arsed – hence the vitriol.

    I wouldn’t read too much higher into this particular incident.

  15. Left Testicle

    So Xhaka has been offered counselling as he’s feeling ‘down’. I would love to hear Roy Keanes take on this.

  16. Guernsey Gun

    Xhaka offered counselling FFS, sums up the state of society, football and Arsenal FC. Dragging this farce out when a tough manager would have simply stripped him of the armband and fined him 2 weeks pay or something and forced him to apologise. What a shambles this season is turning into. Full on banter mode.

  17. Graham62

    Aubamayang must also be thinking I’ve had enough of all this shite.

    Has the Emirates become a time portal. You know a place where all the crap of the universe can travel to and fro on a regular basis.

    Either that or we built the stadium on Salems Lot.

  18. Gentlebris

    ‘Arsenal are not a club who will make rash decisions albeit there are now new
    owners and senior management in place. Emery has probably a lifeline until
    end of this season to prove himself.’


    A rash decision is a decision taken too hurriedly with no particular merits. A decision that if not taken, no damage occurs.

    If you agree with my definition above you will also agree that it would be far from being rash if Emery was fired immediately after the Palace game. Every PL game Emery plays is an axe on Arsenal’s CL chances.

  19. Graham62

    This is why people fall out of love with the game.

    The world has become such a crazy place.

    Maybe Xhaka and Emery should go together.

  20. Graham62


    You are correct.

    This has been building for some time.

    Firing him after the CP game would not have been “rash”.

    It would have been beneficial.

  21. Chitom

    Aubameyang- golden boot winner Lacazette- player of season and £60m target of Barca and Athletico in the summer Ozil- £43m assist machine Ramsey- £50m rated midfielder. Juventus willing to pay £400k per weekTorreira- £25m defensive midfielder. Playing extremely well until cut down by useless manager Kolasinac- German team of the year 2016Sokratis- £15m centre half. No nonsense and considered by you to be an upgrade an anything at the club at the time Leno £25m goalkeeper and again considered by you as a significant upgradeAll of these players WALK into the wolves or Leicester team
    Every single oneDon’t tell me they are average.


    In na naai
    This made me laugh.
    Ozil – the assist machine, has had 11 PL assists in 4000 minutes over the last 3 seasons of PL play.
    De Brune has 9 in under 700 minutes this season alone.

    Torreira walks into Leicester and Wolves ?
    I can only assume you’ve never seen Ndidi or Neves play the position. Kolasinac is a defensive liability and Chilwell is probably already better than him at 22 years old, as is Willy Boly

    Emery might be as shit as you think he is but no need to big up our borderline average squad to labor the point.

  22. Chitom

    Let’s not forget Ramsey either who’s already had 3 different injuries at Juve.
    It’s hard to “Walk “into any hard working PL club if you are barely fit to walk at all.

  23. Graham62

    The bottom line in all of this is our shite and inactive owners.

    In any major business the owning company would be on top of things if they knew their product image was being tarnished.

    I know football is unique but where on the list of priorities do AFC actually come for the Kroenke family? We are a moneymaking tool, pure and simple. Add our weak and submissive BoD’s and we all know things will never change………………….unless that is,the fans show a bit more balls when things go pear shape, as is happening under Emery.

    It worked under Wenger, even though it was a few years too late and it now must work under Emery.

    Delaying things would prove to be catastrophic.

  24. Pierre

    Ten games gone, so how are we doing , are we any better or worse or about the same.

    Let’s have a look at our progress this season compared to Arsene Wenger’s last 5 seasons in his first ten games, which has been acknowledged many times on le Grove and the media as being poor his worst period .

    Ten games played,

    This season after ten games
    4 points off 4th place
    12 points off top.

    Season 13/14 after ten games
    Position 1st
    5pts clear at top.

    Season 14/15 after ten games
    Position..4th joint
    9 pts off top

    15/16 after ten games
    Position..1st joint

    16/17 after ten games
    Position….1st joint

    17/18 after ten games.
    Position…4th joint
    9 pts off top

    Not looking good for Emery is it …I would predict that we could be as much as ten points of 4th and 20+ points off top by the end of December.

  25. Graham62

    Name me one club that would have allowed things to escalate as much as Arsenal have done over these past ten years?

    You can’t.

    Those fans who think booing Xhaka was wrong have to understand the real reasons.

    I hate to say it but we have become an even bigger joke of a club.

    If that was possible.

  26. Graham62


    Nice twist, trying to justify your hero.

    Remember he accepted second best.

    He helped to create this “trust in me” culture.

    Nice try though.

  27. Graham62

    He may be insignificant based on the present state of affairs but he still stands proudly at the top of his pedestal of destructive carnage, created by years of self obsessed neglect.

    What a hero.

  28. Pierre


    “Nice twist, trying to justify your hero”

    Not at all…these figures are there to reflect how we are regressing even more than many realise.

  29. Pierre

    Dont allow your Wenger obsession to cloud what I am showing in those figures.

    All you see is the name WENGER and you cant help yourself as it gets your back up.

    Try to see pass your obsession.

  30. habesha gooner

    Arsenal fans are within their rights at this point to boo Xhaka. We’ve had three years of this:
    He can’t tackle. He can’t wriggle out of tight spaces or Burst away from any player – even giroud would catch him. He ball watches. He can’t dribble. He is very one footed so takes a while to turn and release on counters. He doesn’t block passing lines ala Carrick or ever intercept. He gives away penalties. He rarely scores. He can’t burst past people like Sissokho vs Liverpool the other day. He has the turning radius of an oil tanker. He’s easy to dribble or bypass. He doesn’t find space often enough to bring the ball out from the back. What can he do? Pass well between the lines. Defend our box well from corners and free kicks. Take a decent free kick (sometimes).

    Someone Just posted this. It is so spot on.

  31. guest man aka WW

    Mob mentality will do just about anything their moronic associates will do in the crowd. Its called conformism and its a real psychological trait.
    ten people BOO and 100 more will do it…theres no thought of the grey area between…just the knee-jerk reaction.
    Its regrettable mostly but sometimes the mob mentality gets it right when it purely balck or white.
    Partizan mob mentality crowds are a menace and football just attracts them like moths to a flame.

  32. Bamford10

    “Arsenal won’t punish Xhaka for Crystal Palace meltdown at moment over fears for his fragile state of mind”
    Mark Irwin
    30 Oct 2019

    Arsenal will not take disciplinary action against Granit Xhaka because they have concerns about his fragile mental state.

    The Gunners skipper is refusing to apologise for telling supporters to “f*** off” as they booed him while he was susbstituted against Crystal Palace.

    A club insider confirmed that the 27-year-old has become increasingly dejected by the abuse he has received in recent weeks, both on the pitch and on social media.

    And Unai Emery insists that the question of Xhaka’s continuing captaincy takes second place to his mental wellbeing.

    He said: “I spoke with Granit on Sunday, on Monday and again in training and it is not easy for him.

    “I don’t need his apology to me because I know he is devastated. He is very down and we need to support him.

    “He has a great commitment with the club every day. He has the values, the experience and the respect of the dressing room. He has the conditions to be the captain and all the players respect that.

    “But he was wrong on Sunday and that was not the response of a captain.”

    Xhaka’s Gunners pal Lucas Torreira was pictured in tears over the incident on Sunday.

    And Emery confirmed the captain will be out of the firing line against Liverpool tonight – as he always planned to rest him in the Carabao Cup.

    Now he must decide if Xhaka is in the right frame of mind to return for Saturday’s Premier League game against Wolves at the Emirates.

    Emery has had a series of heart-to-heart discussions with Xhaka since Sunday, and the club have offered him counselling.

    But the player is in no mood to back down after finding himself the subject of a sustained hate campaign from a section of the Gunners fans.

    His boss still expects the midfielder to say sorry but admits he could need time to get to grips with his feelings.

    Emery explained: “We suggested he gave an apology. But in his mind he is not ready to do that because he is devastated inside.

    “He is very upset. Granit knows he was wrong and when we make mistakes we need to apologise.

    “But he feels that the supporters don’t like him, so now he needs to feel the love of his family, his friends and everybody else. But at the moment he is not feeling that with the supporters.”


  33. Bamford10

    That Xhaka has of yet refused to apologize to Arsenal fans is a massive strike against him, more so even then his response on Saturday.

  34. siddharth14

    While Pierre’s defence of Wenger and Ozil is legendary, the points comparison above paints a very grim picture when extrapolated over the season. Considering our present situation and the prevailing factors, we are going to be worse come December, of that there is no doubt. There is unlikely to be a turn around for better going forward barring a miracle.

    The ownership is also showing the customary disrespect to the fans by not commenting on the serious issues plaguing Arsenal. The latest being the Granit Gate of Xhaka. Graham is absolutely right when he says that this sort of nonsense can only happen at Arsenal.

    Though the majority of the fans see Emery making us progressively worse, at the moment, a gap of 4 points off 4th shouldn’t warrant a sacking immediately. But if we are more than 10 points behind come December, the Arsenal Management have to take evasive option to at least have a punt at finishing 4th.

  35. Left testicle

    Mertesacker’s anxiety issues, Koscielny blubbing in a team meeting and now Xhaka has a fragile state of mind.

    We also have ‘Lucas Torreira was in tears and inconsolable’. Ozil can’t be trusted and AMN wonders around stoned.

    No wonder teams bully us.

  36. Tony

    Thanks for the update; she sounds like a nightmare and makes you wonder why the police haven’t been involved if she’s been selling fake memorabilia.

    The club needs to be distancing themselves from idiots like her.

  37. Tony

    Left T
    Don’t forget LT’s 2 crying outbursts.

    We need a permanent psychologist at the club not just for the players, but Emery, too.

    I, too, wonder what the world is coming to.

    So much violence in the news all the time.