By Declan Taylor

Arsène Wenger handed Eduardo the captain’s armband as a “tribute” to his personality but maintains that Cesc Fabregas will continue as skipper when he returns from injury.

Eduardo had been unavailable since sustaining a hamstring strain in his ‘comeback’ match against Cardiff in February but was named in the starting line-up for Sunday’s FA Cup clash with Burnley.

More surprising was Wenger’s decision to name the Croatian as the Gunners’ captain. After the game, the manager explained his decision and once again discussed the advantages of a ‘shared leadership’ on the pitch.

“It was a tribute to his personality and how well he has behaved during the nine months [he was injured],” said the Frenchman. “He never complained and I think in our world that says a lot.

“Fabregas is still our captain and then it is Kolo Toure. I have said many times that I am for a shared leadership in the team.

“The big modern game demands a lot of turnover when you are involved in many competitions. That turnover means you need a few leaders to have an efficient team.”

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9 Mar 2009