Rob Holding Says Arsenal Players Have Had Vote on 5 Captains for Unai Emery

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Rob Holding of Arsenal during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Arsenal and Nottingham Forest at Emirates Stadium on September 24, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Arsenal defender Rob Holding has revealed the players voted at the behest of manager Unai Emery to help him choose the team's five captains for the season.

Emery said he would reveal his choices last week but postponed the announcement until after Tuesday's 5-0 Carabao Cup win over Nottingham Forest.

Per Goal's Charles Watts, Holding said:

"We had a vote the other week, so we'll see what happens and see who gets named.

"[We had to] write names down and then give them to the manager. He will go through them obviously with his input, and then we'll see what happens.

"I don't know [when the decision will be announced]. I think it will be in the next couple of days, or weeks. I have no idea."

The 24-year-old, whose appearance against Forest was his first senior outing of 2019 after he ruptured his cruciate ligament in December, said he would be "more than happy and honoured" to be one of the five.

Emery named five captains last season, but three of them are no longer in the side. Laurent Koscielny and Aaron Ramsey left in the summer for Bordeaux and Juventus, respectively, while Petr Cech retired.

Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil were the other two. Xhaka has donned the armband in each of his six appearances this season, while Ozil did so against Forest on Tuesday before giving it to Holding when he was substituted.

In Arsenal's 2-1 win over Burnley, in which neither Xhaka nor Ozil featured, Nacho Monreal was the skipper, but he has since moved to Real Sociedad.

The Evening Standard's Simon Collings and The Athletic's Amy Lawrence supported the vote but questioned why the issue is still unresolved:

Amy Lawrence @amylawrence71

Rob Holding on 5 captains idea: "It’s spreading the leadership group rather than having one person to dictate it. You’re getting more input, it’s generating a good environment.”

The club knew well in advance that Ramsey and Cech would depart, and while Koscielny did not leave until August 6, it was almost a month earlier that the Frenchman refused to go on Arsenal's pre-season tour because of his desire to leave.

With the season almost two months old, it's inexplicable the selection has not already been made.

According to Watts, Xhaka "is a certainty" to be one of the five, while Ozil is also expected to be one again. It's said the other three places could be between Holding, Hector Bellerin, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and David Luiz.

It's clear Holding does not have an issue with Emery's unusual approach to the captaincy, but putting an end to the uncertainty sooner rather than later would be beneficial.


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