Captaincy At Arsenal Not A Big Issue - Sokratis Papastathopoulos - MySportDab - Sports News Nigeria

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Friday, 8 November 2019

Captaincy At Arsenal Not A Big Issue - Sokratis Papastathopoulos

The Gabon international has replaced Granit Xhaka as the Gunners' captain, but his team-mate believes it is a secondary issue.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos insists it does not matter who wears the captain's armband at Arsenal in the wake of Granit Xhaka being replaced by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as skipper.

Head coach Unai Emery announced on Tuesday that Xhaka had been stripped of the captaincy following his angry reaction to being jeered by his supporters in the recent Premier League draw with Crystal Palace.

Aubameyang will instead take on leadership duties, starting with Saturday's trip to Leicester City, but Sokratis feels the issue is secondary as long as everyone pulls in the same direction on the field.

"I think it is the first time he is a captain," Sokratis said.

"For me, it's essential that Aubameyang first has to score; he has to do his work. The captaincy or who has this [armband] on the pitch, I don't think it is essential.

"He is a perfect guy, but who has the captaincy is not very important. All the team must be good in the dressing room. We are like a family. At the end, which brings to the pitch, the captaincy is the last thing."

Arsenal's disappointing run continued with a 1-1 draw with Vitoria de Guimaraes in the Europa League on Wednesday, with Bruno Duarte canceling out Shkodran Mustafi's late goal in Portugal.

Emery's side is winless in four matches in all competitions, and Sokratis acknowledges the importance of responding with victory at in-form Leicester this weekend.

"It's a huge game, a game we have to win," he said. "Of course we have a lot of games in front, and if we saw last year we were there, but in the previous seven games, we didn't win one.

"The other teams were six, seven points behind us, but in the end, they were in front. We need to be consistent all year, not only one month.

"Leicester is in a perfect moment; they're a hungry team. You can see this. We have to be ready to beat them."

While the Gunners are struggling to win, the Foxes have won their past four games in all competitions and beat Southampton 9-0 a fortnight ago.

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