REVEALED: Unai Emery will let her players decide the fate of Granit Xhaka as captain of the Arsenal … but the midfielder could give up on himself while the fans await an apology
- Unai Emery can consult players to find out if Granit Xhaka will remain captain
- The boss of the Arsenal fears the player's backlash in case he removes the armband
- The Swiss midfielder was initially elected team captain
- Xhaka antagonized the supporters of the Arsenal before appearing to tell them to leave
Granit Xhaka clung to the arsenal's captaincy on Monday night with manager Unai Emery ready to consult the players before deciding whether the midfielder should hold the armband.
Emery fears the player's backlash in case he decides to strip the Swiss national team captain, given Xhaka's position as one of the most popular members of the team.
The midfielder was elected team captain by the team – a clear indication of his popularity.
Unai Emery can consult the players before deciding whether Granit Xhaka should remain captain of the Arsenal
And since Xhaka was selected as skipper by his teammates, manager Emery is ready to discuss the matter with his team members before making a final decision as to whether he will continue in his position.
After being given a free Monday, players will return to London Colney HQ headquarters for the first time since Xhaka antagonized the Arsenal fans before appearing to tell them to "cheat" in response to the whistle.
Emery refused to confirm whether Xhaka would remain captain after Sunday's clash against Crystal Palace – revealing instead that he would discuss with the club hierarchy before deciding.
Some of these talks took place on Monday, Emery and the technical director Edu were involved.
Xhaka antagonized the Arsenal fans before appearing to tell them to "fuck" against the Aston Villa
VIEW OF MARTIN KEOWN
Sunday was not the first time that Granit Xhaka was mocked by his own fans. It also happened on September 22, when Aston Villa visited. At the time the Villa was 2-1 ahead, then Xhaka was replaced and whistled. Arsenal, despite falling to 10 men, continued to win 3-2 without the midfielder. Then, five days later, Unai Emery still nominates Xhaka as captain.
The fault is anyone else. If you let the players choose their skipper, then it becomes a popularity contest and this is not the problem of leadership. I have never had a manager who has decided to take on the role of captain in that way and, for me, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is still the safest bet.
But it seems likely that the players' opinion will also be measured before a decision is made.
The position of club captain is not considered as important on the continent as it is here in England, Emery's decision to let the players vote on who should wear the armband emphasizes this view.
But inside the club it is feared that Emery erroneously judged the importance of the captaincy from its arrival at the beginning of last season.
It is believed that there is a reluctance to deprive Xhaka of the harbor master's office within the technical staff – although Emery has admitted that the former Borussia Monchengladbach star "erred" as he did on Sunday.
However, if Xhaka decides he no longer wants to keep the captain, sources claim that Emery would accept his decision.
It is feared that Emery has misjudged the importance of the captain since his arrival
Monday in the corridors of power there was hope at the Emirates Stadium that Xhaka would apologize for his actions on Sunday.
But the public apology was not forthcoming last night despite attempts from inside the club for Xhaka to break his silence.
The Spanish Hector Bellerin and Dani Ceballos have both reached social media on Monday to ask fans to support the team after Sunday's toxic atmosphere.
However, Sportsmail understands that Emery is having difficulty in totally convincing his player of his methods.
The sources claim that it is often confusing by staff members who play on Emery's instructions on a daily basis in the training camp and during matches.
It is also a concern among the team that his tactics severely stifled a team that was once famous for its creativity.
Emery's marginalization of Mesut Ozil was also questioned privately by some players
Indeed, his complete marginalization of Mesut Ozil has been questioned privately by a contingent of players who believe that German still has quality to offer in some games.
All this leaves Emery with a great challenge to fully convince the Gunners hierarchy of being the right man to lead the club beyond this season.
Emery's work is not immediately threatened and it will not be while the Gunners remain in the running for the first four places.
But the Spaniard's position will be seriously threatened if he does not qualify for the Champions League next season.