Sky Sports pundit Matthew Upson has tipped Arsenal defender Rob Holding as future “captain material” at the Emirates Stadium.
Although the Gunners are very much back on track and in good form, one topic of conversation amongst fans is how suitable Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is as team captain.
The Arsenal star striker has been criticised at times for not being a vocal enough presence, and recent comments in conversation with Sky Sports suggest he’s still struggling with the role.
“It’s really hard to manage both but you have to be as positive as you can because the team needs you,” Aubameyang said.
“I always try to give my best, not only on the pitch but also in the dressing room for the guys.
“Sometimes it’s hard and maybe you are not in the right mood but you have to find a way to change it and give positive vibes for the guys.”
Kieran Tierney is often mentioned as a player perfectly suited to the role of captain, but former Gunners defender Upson reckons Holding would be a great shout.
“I feel he (Auba) leads by example more than probably vocally or how he communicates with the players,” he told The Football Show on Sky Sports (19/1/21, 10:10 am).
“I don’t see him so much in that way. He played so well at the end of last season that his performances, more than anything, led by example.
“His impact as captain may have been a little bit watered down at the start of this season. There are other players in this team, like Rob Holding, for instance, who I think is very vocal.
“He plays at the back. He’s got real stature as a player. Someone like him is interesting to think well, he looks to me, in the future possibly, to be captain material for Arsenal.”
Aubameyang is a superb player, no doubt about it, but perhaps having him as captain is proving detrimental to both the team and the player.
The 31-year-old admits he’s struggling with both roles, so giving someone else the armband would enable him to focus solely on his main role – getting goals.
Upson does make a good point about Holding – he’s not only got the captaincy credentials but has also worn the armband on a couple of occasions, such as against Everton in December.
That said, he’s up against some stiff competition in Tierney, a player many fans want as captain if Aubameyang lost the armband, and one who, in Paul Merson’s words, would “run through a brick wall for you”.