By Declan Taylor
Kyle Bartley has described receiving the Reserve team captaincy as a “terrific honour”.
The armband has been worn by a number of different second-string players over the past 18 months but the Manchester-born defender was named the official skipper during the summer.
Despite missing most of pre-season with an Achilles’ tendon injury, Bartley has slotted effortlessly into the backline this season, starring at centre-half in the Reserves’ two victories so far.
After the latest win - Arsenal’s 4-0 thrashing of Birmingham on Tuesday - Bartley told Arsenal.com about being handed the captaincy.
“Neil sat us down as a group and told us I was going to be the captain,” he explained. “It’s a terrific honour for me.
“I was youth-team captain at [former-club] Bolton and it’s something I’m hoping to bring to my game here at Arsenal.
“I feel I’m a good talker and I like to keep everyone motivated on the pitch. I feel like the lads can come to me whenever there’s a problem.”
Arsène Wenger has championed the notion of ‘shared-leadership’ in his first-team squad. And Bartley believes that the principle has been adopted at Reserve level too.
“We are all leaders on the pitch,” the 18-year-old defender said. “It is all about that collective leadership.
“Everyone can have their say and everyone can have a moan but someone has to take the armband.
“I’m just very thankful that that’s me and I’m looking forward to pushing on.”Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source