New boss Unai Emery says he wants “five captains” in his Arsenal team, but his West Ham counterpart Manuel Pellegrini is struggling to pick even one.
Character is going to be vital when the two teams go head-to-head at the Emirates without a single point between them after disappointing starts to the season.
While long-term Arsenal skipper Laurent Koscielny lifted spirits this week by returning to training after an Achilles injury picked up at the end of last season, Mark Noble will miss the clash due to a back problem.
And while earlier this summer the Arsenal coach called for a handful of players to contest for the armband in Koscielny’s absence, Pellegrini admits he is scratching his head over which one person to hand the armband to.
“If Unai thinks five is ok, I don’t have any problem with that. The important is not to have the band, it’s to ‘be’ a captain.
“That’s why there are a lot of reasons to choose one. Normally for the amount of years that they are here on the team.
“But who will be captain without Noble – that’s a good question. It depends on the starting 11, I cannot tell you.”
Marko Arnautovic captained the Hammers for 45 minutes during a pre-season friendly when Noble was rested, otherwise Pablo Zabaleta – who Pellegrini worked with previously at Manchester City, is strong contender.
Pellegrini’s prime concern though is settling upon his strongest team and he warned West Ham fans they may need to be patient until he finds the winning formula.
Top five cheapest Premier League match day tickets revealed – both Arsenal AND Liverpool make the list
“I don’t know if finding my best XI is closer or not because we need time for a lot of reasons,” the 65-year-old said. “If you review my career – at Villarreal, at Malaga, in Manchester – the first games that I managed were never good games.
“I remember in Manchester we lost our first three games away or rather lost two and won one so I’m not worried about that. But as soon as we can win it would be better.”
Who will win this weekend’s clash at the Emirates?
3000+ VOTES SO FAR
Source: Read Full Article