This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Being appointed captain is one of the biggest honours that can be bestowed upon a player.
Taking the armband means that you have been selected to lead your side into battle, and the skipper is often the player his teammates look up to the most. It should be the pinnacle of a career.
Watch the moment Granit Xhaka’s Arsenal career may have come to an ugly end in the video below…
For Granit Xhaka at Arsenal, though, it looks to be anything but.
The Switzerland international was only appointed as the leader of the dressing room a few weeks ago, but he’s thrown that responsibility up in the air after shouting expletives at the crowd at the Emirates Stadium when he was subbed off against Crystal Palace.
His troubles under the spotlight do not make him the only Gunners captain to have struggled, though.
In fact, history tells us that being the manager’s right-hand man in north London may be a curse.
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There have been several reasons for the problems: Thomas Vermaelen, Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker all suffered damaging injuries, whilst stars such as Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie left the club, to join Barcelona and Manchester United respectively.
Fabregas even revealed he’d pay to leave the Gunners when his time was running out at the club. That simply tells you all you need to know.
Meanwhile, the previous captain, Laurent Koscielny, refused to go on Arsenal’s pre-season tour before the start of this current campaign. He left his legacy in tatters following an ill-advised transfer reveal video for new side Bordeaux in France.
Long gone are the days of iconic leaders such as Patrick Vieira and Tony Adams. Now, it seems that the various men in the dug-out cannot choose the right man to lead their side.
Unai Emery has a group of captains theory, and looking at this lot, there is perhaps a method to his madness after all.
But perhaps he should take the idea even further. Instead of having one main captain and four back-ups, perhaps he should spread the responsibility across the five anyway. That way, no one man has to deal with apparent pressure of the curse. As such, they may be able to rid themselves of it once and for all.