Unai Emery confirms Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has replaced Granit Xhaka as Arsenal captain

first_imgThe Swiss midfielder will no longer wear the armband after clashing with fans (Picture: Getty)Unai Emery has confirmed that Granit Xhaka is no longer Arsenal captain after his explosive bust-up with fans against Crystal Palace and has been replaced by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.The Swiss midfielder was substituted in the second half in last month’s match and was jeered by supporters, responding by cupping his ear to the crowd, telling them to ‘f*** off’ and storming down the tunnel.He was left out of subsequent matches against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup and Wolves in the Premier League, while he is not part of the squad to face Vitoria on Wednesday in the Europa League. Advertisement Xhaka responded to boos from supporters by cupping his ear to the crowd (Picture: Reuters)There were calls from fans for Xhaka to be stripped of the captaincy after his outburst, though Emery had initially been reluctant to discuss any punishment for the 27-year-old.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTBut, after consulting with players – who voted for Xhaka to be their skipper over the summer – Emery has now ended the midfielder’s brief spell as Arsenal skipper with Aubameyang taking over captain duties instead.Speaking on Tuesday evening ahead of the clash with Vitoria, Emery confirmed: ‘I was speaking with him this morning and also I decided he is not one of the captains in our group. I decided that and I told him this morning.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘He accepted my decision. And also I told the other captains the decision. We need to carry on and focus for tomorrow’s match and next Saturday’s match. I needed to make a decision and now it is closed.’Asked if Xhaka still has a future at the club, Emery continued: ‘The future is Arsenal’s club future with the players we are here and the coaches we are here. We have a very important match for us tomorrow in the Europa League and then on Saturday in that way we need to take some decisions about some circumstances that have happened. Unai Emery confirms Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has replaced Granit Xhaka as Arsenal captain Advertisementcenter_img Ewan RobertsTuesday 5 Nov 2019 7:50 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.8kShares Comment Arsenal’s top scorer this season Aubameyang will now wear the armband (Picture: Getty)‘I say to you what is about Xhaka but now is about the match for tomorrow, [that is] only my focus and our focus is tomorrow. We need time, he is one of our players and we want to respect and protect him and also continue in our way. At the moment he is not in the group but my decision is as I say to you.‘Tomorrow’s match is now the focus and the most important. We have a lot of work to do to improve, to take confidence. We were speaking also the team this morning about our moment and speaking about our match tomorrow, our match on Saturday.’Emery was also asked if he would hold another vote to determine who would replace Xhaka as captain – just as he had done when Laurent Koscielny left – though he revealed the decision had already been made to give Aubameyang the armband.‘We have now Aubameyang, Hector, Lacazette and Ozil,’ Emery added. ‘They are the four captains and the first now is Aubameyang.’Is Aubameyang the right choice as Arsenal captain?No0%Yes0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultsMORE: Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka left out of Arsenal Europa League squad by Unai EmeryAdvertisementAdvertisementMORE: Senior Arsenal players frustrated by Unai Emery’s post-training meetingsMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man Citylast_img read more

Syracuse loses 72-71 heartbreaker to Pittsburgh in ACC tournament

first_imgWASHINGTON — For 39 minutes and 54 seconds, they jostled for the lead. For momentum. For control of their own NCAA Tournament destinies.Syracuse led early. Pittsburgh led for most of the game. The Orange erased a 12-point deficit, in 2 minutes and 22 seconds, to tie the game with 1:58 left. The Panthers used two makes from James Robinson to build a four-point lead. SU’s Michael Gbinije hit a 3 to cut that lead to one. Pitt’s Sheldon Jeter missed a free throw to give Syracuse a shot to win.The game — and possibly the Orange’s NCAA Tournament chances — fittingly boiled into a single play. Into 6.6 seconds. Into Trevor Cooney’s hands.“I should have drove,” Cooney said, his eyes staring at the blue carpet in a hushed Syracuse locker room. “… I should have drove.”Instead he caught the in-bounds pass from Malachi Richardson, took off down the left sideline and rose up for a leaning 3 as time expired. The shot sailed left, nicked the side of the rim and fell to the Verizon Center court. Pittsburgh’s (21-10, 9-9 Atlantic Coast) bench streamed onto the court, celebrating a 72-71 ACC tournament win on Wednesday that conceivably puts it on the right side of the NCAA Tournament bubble. The Orange (19-13, 9-9) slowly walked toward the tunnel behind its bench, the first steps in a long four-day wait for an unpromising Selection Sunday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMore Coverage Bracketologist Patrick Stevens on Syracuse’s Tournament chances: ‘I’m going to lean out at this point’ Jim Boeheim on Syracuse’s NCAA Tournament chances: ‘It’s up to them’ Cameron Johnson and Ryan Luther flip script on Pittsburgh’s formula to beating Syracuse Frank Howard plays extended minutes and makes a costly mistake in loss to Pittsburgh The contest had been called an unofficial Tournament play-in game, and SU finished inches wide of a resume-making win.“Being in the position that we are, I think there are a lot of teams in ‘play-in games’ that are thinking that,” Cooney said of whether Syracuse approach Wednesday as a must-win game. “It was tough. I mean we’re a good team and we’ve proven that throughout this year, and we’ll see moving forward.”After a 5-0 Pittsburgh run erased Syracuse’s latest comeback attempt, the Orange trudged into a timeout down 12 with 4:18 left in the game. Cooney, who played a season-low 24 minutes and sat most of the second half, had a white towel around his neck and tried to pick up his teammates with spirited high-fives. Tyler Lydon stared at the big screen hovering over the court, which was replaying Jamel Artis’ deep 3 on the previous possession. Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim made an adjustment to give his team a puncher’s chance.The Orange jumped into a full-court press. Pittsburgh shakily broke it at first, but then committed a pair of turnovers that allowed the Orange to claw within a possession. And when the Panthers finally got into its halfcourt offense on the next play, Tyler Roberson raced in front of a cross-court pass and a Michael Gbinije dunk tied the game 68-68 with 1:58 remaining.SU assistant coach Gerry McNamara jumped off the bench, pumped both fists then spread out his arms to keep the Orange bench from spilling onto the court. The 12-2 run forced Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon to briskly walk toward the scorer’s table and take a timeout. All else in the past, the game was either team’s for the taking.“It was a tremendous comeback,” Boeheim said. “I can’t say enough about our effort. When you’re down 11 or 12 points with not much time on the clock, it was a huge effort in that last couple minutes.”The Orange regained possession but a Franklin Howard turnover led to a transition layup for Robinson. On Pittsburgh’s next possession, Robinson created space on the right wing and sunk a mid-range jumper to bump the deficit to four. It seemed that Syracuse was finished once again — but a Gbinije 3 and missed free throw by Jeter stretched the drama out for one more play.Boeheim wanted the ball to go to Gbinije. Pittsburgh doubled him on the in-bounds play and Richardson found Cooney instead. Cooney shook off a defender but couldn’t find the bottom of the net.“I know Coach wants us to go to the basket, but at the same time it’s a Trevor Cooney 3 at the end of the game,” said Gbinije, who finished with a team-high 24 points. “I don’t know, I don’t really have a problem with it personally. He can make that shot, he’s very capable, it’s just unfortunate that he missed.”Now all Syracuse can do is wait, while conference tournaments around the country shape the NCAA Tournament bracket, and hope its name is called come Sunday. It had a chance to all but guarantee that on Wednesday, but a third loss to Pittsburgh on the season could very well produce the opposite result.“I’m not on the committee,” said Boeheim, 10 minutes after Dixon sat in the same chair and said his team is in “good shape” to make the field of 68.“Every coach in the country that’s got any kind of record thinks they should get in the tournament. What do you want me to say?” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on March 9, 2016 at 2:32 pm Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesselast_img read more