Football News

Ian Wright slams Emery for not handing Arsenal captain role to Guendouzi after Fabregas praise

By CJ Smith

Published: 16:53, 1 October 2019

Ian Wright believes Unai Emery is “crazy” for handing the Arsenal captaincy to Granit Xhaka ahead of someone like Matteo Guendouzi.

Xhaka has worn the armband for most of the season and despite being unpopular among supporters, was voted as permanent skipper by his Arsenal team-mates.

Is Guendouzi a future Arsenal captain? Five things to know…

  • Xhaka was recently named Arsenal captain.
  • But the Swiss midfielder is an unpopular choice among fans.
  • Aubameyang, Bellerin, Lacazette and Ozil round off Emery’s “leadership group”.
  • But Wright believes leaving Guendouzi out of that group is “crazy”.
  • Guendouzi has completed more passes (361) and made more tackles (14) in the EPL than any Arsenal player this season.

Emery recently revealed a five-man leadership group at the Emirates, with striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang voted as vice-captain, while Hector Bellerin, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil were also named.

But Wright believes the Spaniard is “not strong enough” to make a big decision, something he feels is proven by Guendouzi – who has been one of Arsenal’s best players so far this season – being left out of the captaincy running.

“I know they’ve chosen the captain but Xhaka should not be captain in front of this guy or Aubameyang, for me,” Wright said.

“He is leading by example for a 20-year-old. We know Tony Adams was a captain at 20, maybe Unai’s not strong enough to give somebody like Matteo Guendouzi [the captaincy].

“When you look at him here and what he’s doing, that is taking the game by the scruff of the neck and driving Arsenal forward, and he’s not been made captain or vice-captain.

“It’s crazy, for me.”

Wright believes Guendouzi’s form has been one of the highlights of Arsenal’s season so far, highlighting just how much more “control” he’s shown throughout 2019/20.

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“If you are going to take any positives out of it then the form and the emergence of Matteo Guendouzi is fantastic,” he added. “He’s somebody that is driving the team forward.

“When he came in, for his first season to play that many games, I thought it was too much, I thought it was too many. But now you’re seeing somebody that looks totally in control in what he’s doing.

“He’s getting himself into great spaces, against Tottenham he was fantastic, got the assist for Aubameyang. He’s somebody who is continuously driving forward and making sure that he is trying to help the team.”

Gotta love Guendouzi

Wright isn’t the only one impressed by Guendouzi, with former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas praising the Frenchman’s mentality during the Gunners’ 1-1 draw away to Manchester United on Monday.

“Gotta love Guendouzi. Can play good or not so good but always shows up in difficult moments at such a young age,” Fabregas said on Twitter.

“Big future ahead of him at Arsenal.”