Press conference

Aubameyang confirmed as club captain

Speaking at a press conference ahead of our Europa League game with Vitoria, our head coach clarified the make-up of our leadership group.

Read on for what Emery told the media:
 
on leaving Granit Xhaka out of the squad...
UE - Again, we can do one step more with him. He's not here today but also I think we need to take time with him, first to protect him and also to be calm and training with us every day. But I was speaking with him this morning and also I decided he's not one of the captains in our group and I decided that and I told him this morning.
 
on what Granit’s response was…
UE - He accepted my decision and also I told the captain and other captain my decision, we need to carry on and to focus on tomorrow’s match and Saturday’s match. I needed to take one decision, and now it is closed.
 
on whether there will be another vote on the captaincy…
UE - We have now Aubameyang, Hector, Lacazette and Ozil - they are the four captains, and first is now Aubameyang.
 
on Granit's comments on the abuse he has received and whether he has a future here...
UE - The future is Arsenal's club future, with the players that are here now and the coaches that are here. We have a match tomorrow, a very important match for us in the Europa League and then on Saturday in that way we need to take some decisions about some circumstances that are happening. I say to you what it is about Xhaka and now is for the match tomorrow and only that is my focus. Our focus is for tomorrow and then I think we need time because he is one of our players and we want to protect and respect him and also continue in our way. At the moment he's not in the group and my decision is as I said to you. Tomorrow's match is now the focus and the most important. I think we have a lot of work to do for to improve and for us to take confidence. We were speaking also - the team - this morning about our moment and also speaking about our match tomorrow, our match on Saturday and really expecting to play and looking forward to see the team again tomorrow and to see how we can respond against Vitoria Guimaraes away. And also because this competition for us is very important and if we win tomorrow we are going to be the first in the table. That's our target in this round, in the group and then to do something important in this competition.
 
on if this is a permanent or temporary decision on Granit and if he's asked to leave...
UE - I think we are speaking a lot about that and it's clear, there's not more words about that. The decision I have taken, and also I told him and I told the other captains and now we are continuing. Then the time is giving us the next matches, the next weeks and the next months, how we can continue with every player and with him also. But now our focus is on tomorrow, he is not here. We have other players and for me also it's very important that I respect a lot the competition and Vitoria Guimaraes and also we have on Saturday another important match. Our focus is only those two matches and I want to say to you also my decision. I told them. First Xhaka and then the captains and it's finished. For me, it's finished, that moment and that issue and his future with us is coming for the next weeks or the next months and now we need to be focused for tomorrow.