Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Laurent Koscielny named Arsenal's main captain by head coach Unai Emery

Michael Owen looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Feyenoord and Manchester United FC at Feijenoord Stadion Carragher: New Arsenal boss Emery compared to Rafa Benitez
Rita Gibson | 11 August, 2018, 09:49

The Spanish coach takes charge of the Gunners in the English top flight for the first time and assignments don't come a lot tougher than against a City side that won the league by 19 points last season.

Mertesacker retired from playing at the end of the campaign, assuming the role of Arsenal's academy manager.

Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil - who notably wore the armband in a pre-season friendly - are the others, though it is Cech who will take on captain duties against City.

Arsenal manager Unai Emery is excited about his baptism of fire in the Premier League on Sunday even though he could have wished for an easier first opponent than champions Manchester City. "In my career, I want leaders in the team".

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The manager has been with the players for just three months but he has already made a good connection with the Arsenal players because they are all happy and following his philosophy as they hope to bring back old glory at the North London club.

Given Vida's impressive World Cup outing, it would be a smart investment from Emery to acquire the Croatian's services and the centre-back's experience and know-how could prove to be pivotal during Koscielny's absence. "For me, that is very important".

"But we are starting a new way, a new process with the same players and the new players, the new coaches". Arsenal also signed veteran defenders Stephan Lichtsteiner - who is the Switzerland captain - and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who are also seen as strong personalities both on and off the pitch. "We are to think only to win the match".

"When we were in Spain each match against Barcelona with Valencia is very exciting and very demanding for me also to prepare for this match". I want those two moments to feel the same for all players. "And then when we have the space, to be aggressive going forward", Emery told Sky Sports. "I am looking every day and the players are smiling in training with a big collective spirit. But my idea is to give us the best performance quickly".

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