Three reasons Unai Emery is making a mistake by appointing Granit Xhaka as Arsenal captain

first_img Comment Granit Xhaka has been appointed club captain at Arsenal after a long decision-making process (Picture: Getty)You do not need to be a scholar of Albanian to work out the meaning of the name Granit.Just as it sounds, it means ‘granite’.Granit Xhaka has, however, hardly been a rock in central midfield since joining Arsenal from Borussia Monchengladbach three years ago. If you cast your mind back to that time it appeared Arsenal had done some rather handy business.The Gunners had done their homework on the 23-year-old Xhaka, having tracked his progress in Germany for ‘a long time’, and pulled the trigger on the move early in the window. They got the deal done before Euro 2016 kicked off, and had even shelled out of £35million, when that was still a large amount of money.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTArsenal fans were anticipating a generation-defining player, someone who could finally fill the hole in midfield left by Patrick Vieira. If you had told them that three years later he would be wearing the captain’s armband, they would assume everything had gone to plan and Xhaka had become the £100m legacy Wenger had left them.It is not how it has unfolded. Instead, he might be one of the more bizarre captaincy appointments in Arsenal’s long history – and here’s why.The fans will revoltCritics often say that it takes a lot to get the crowd going at Arsenal, but not if you’re Granit Xhaka.After an insipid performance which left the Gunners trailing 2-1 to promoted side Aston Villa last weekend, he was booed off the pitch before those jeers turned to cheers at the arrival of Joe Willock, a 20-year-old who has yet to reach double figures for Premier League appearances.It may have brightened the afternoon that he ended up turning the game around and helping Emery’s men snatch a 3-2 victory from the jaws of a damaging home defeat, but fans will not forget what they saw from Xhaka.The last years of the Arsene Wenger era left a sour taste in the mouth of north Londoners who wear red as they went from Invincibles to Risibles and ‘the gap’ which they had always relished between themselves and Tottenham shrank, eventually leaving them standing on the platform with Spurs leaving the station.When Unai Emery arrived, he was tasked with rebuilding a team in disrepair and bringing the fans back to the Emirates, where official attendances rarely accounted for the swathes of empty red seats. On occasion, he has managed to do so, bringing through some younger players and receiving funds to break the club transfer record on exciting attacking players.But he has won battles, not the war, against apathy. In Emery’s own words ‘we need our supporters’.The appointment of Xhaka is only likely to drive them further away. Advertisement Advertisement James GrayFriday 27 Sep 2019 1:15 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link832Sharescenter_img Granit Xhaka seems to have cemented his place in the starting line-up (Picture: Getty)Mixed messagesFor all that we can dismiss the role of captain as an outdated one – in Italy, they scoff at the English obsession with it – Emery has paid respect to the history of the club and made it apparent that it is still important to him.He has taken two months to make the decision, weighing up the pros and cons of each candidate and even consulting the players themselves on who they would like to see in post: Frank McLintock, Pat Rice, David O’Leary, Tony Adams, who next?AdvertisementHowever, having taken all that care and attention, Emery has taken careful aim and shot himself in the foot. It almost feels like a reactionary decision as if Xhaka, who must have heard and cannot ignore the boos of the supporters, needed a pick-me-up ahead of a massive game against Manchester United on Monday. If that is the case, it goes against what Emery has previously suggested about his ethos on captaincy.Arsenal youngster Bukayo Saka admitted recently that he barely understands what Emery is saying and that coach Freddie Ljungberg was an important intermediary in communication with the manager.With so many mixed messages coming from the manager’s office, even the Spanish speakers might be struggling to understand him at this point.Who should be the Arsenal captainXhaka0%Aubameyag0%Lacazette0%Bellerin0%Holding0%Luiz0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultsMore: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Arsenal fans are unlikely to relish Granit Xhaka’s appointment (Picture: Getty)Captain… of the bench?Captaincy is clearly not what it once was in football.The days of the club captain playing every minute of every game, being the only one with his own parking space, taking training when the manager is away and meeting with the mayor after every game are gone.AdvertisementAdvertisementBut there is still an obligation to make the captain one of the first names on the team-sheet, a piece of reverse engineering that surely cannot herald the best possible results.In fact, a more sensible thing to do would be look at those who are among the first on the team sheet and choose a captain from them. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been mooted for that reason as well as Alexandre Lacazette, Bernd Leno and Hector Bellerin.Xhaka’s form – no player has made more mistakes leading to goals than he in his three years in the Premier League – does not point to his being an integral part of the side and the emergence of Matteo Guendouzi as a warrior in the middle of the park seems to make him a redundant liability.Can you really leave your captain on the bench for a month? Not without undermining your own decision-making process and all of those who advised you to pick him. Emery will be duty-bound to keep picking him, much to the chagrin of almost every Arsenal fan. Three reasons Unai Emery is making a mistake by appointing Granit Xhaka as Arsenal captainlast_img read more

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SEAX-1 Subsea Cable All Set for Provisional Acceptance

first_imgSuper SEA Cable Networks (SEAX), together with the supplier Huawei International and Huawei Marine Networks, informed that following construction and end-to-end testing, the SEAX-1 cable system has achieved RFPA (ready for provisional acceptance).SEA Cable Exchange-1 (SEAX-1) links Tanah Merah, Singapore to both Batam, Indonesia and Mersing, Malaysia.This new, repeaterless undersea communication network should serve the growing demand for e-commerce and internet-based services throughout the ASEAN region.“Service on SEAX-1 will significantly enhance direct communication between Malaysia and Indonesia and Singapore and lay the foundation for SEAX’s broader plans to provide the ASEAN region with readily-accessible, high-capacity, robust and diverse connectivity options. SEAX’s network plan will help establish the ASEAN region as a broadband corridor in line with the ICT’s ASEAN Cooperation goals, providing an engine of growth for the region,” said Joseph Lim, chief executive officer of SEAX.Mike Constable, chief executive of Huawei Marine stated: “On behalf of the team at HMN, we are pleased to have partnered with SEAX to achieve this significant milestone. The successful completion of SEAX-1, marks Huawei Marine’s tenth project in Asia Pacific, which illustrates the importance of high-speed connectivity to facilitate cross-border ICT initiatives and the economic development of the ASEAN region.”Construction of the system was announced in September of 2016 by SEAX, in collaboration with its partners, PT Super Sistem Ultima for Indonesia and SACOFA Sdn Bhd for Malaysia.last_img read more

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