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03rd Oct 2019

What do footballers look for in a club captain?

The panel join Kelly Cates on Liquid Football to discuss what players look for in a captain after Arsenal's squad voted for Granit Xhaka to wear the armband

Reuben Pinder

Sponsored by Paddy Power

What makes a good captain?

The news of Granit Xhaka being voted club captain by his Arsenal teammates received a mixed response. Some fans expressed disappointment that a player so error-prone has been given the responsibility of leading the team. Others saw the logic behind the decision, acknowledging that captaincy is a) not that important and b) something that comes naturally to Xhaka, who has captained Switzerland many times.

So what makes a good captain? On this week’s episode of Liquid Football, Jon Walters, Carlton Cole and Luis Garcia discussed the qualities that players look for in a captain with host Kelly Cates.

Walters highlighted that aside from Xhaka’s on the ball ability, “whenever there’s trouble on the pitch, he’s the first one sticking up for his players.

“You might not see that as a fan, but I notice these things as a player.

“Sometimes, it’s the captain who a manager has a good relationship with. It’s a link between the players and the manager,” the former Republic of Ireland manager added.

Luis Garcia recalled Barcelona’s decision to appoint Andres Iniesta as captain after the departure of his long-term partner in crime, Xavi Hernandez.

Garcia suggested that decision was made based on his longevity at the club, and that not every captain has to be the type to bark instructions at his peers.

“He’s not a player who likes to be in the spotlight or to be giving speeches or trying to push players. He’s a leader, but he’s not a leader who’s going to push you to do things,” the former Barcelona and Liverpool playmaker said.

On the matter of how important choosing the right captain is, Carlton Cole focused on the press duties that a captain takes on.

“You’ve got to have someone who can deal with the press, deal with the manager,” said the former England striker.

“As a player I want my voice heard in a certain way. Even to the board as well, sometimes you’re negotiating your bonus, captain goes in.

“They’ve got to be strong and not just take no for an answer.”