Sokratis Papastathopoulos says Arsenal captaincy not important

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Image: Sokratis Papastathopoulos says the Arsenal captaincy is not important

Sokratis Papastathopoulos believes the Arsenal captaincy is not important, as the fall-out from Granit Xhaka being stripped of the armband continues.

Gunners head coach Unai Emery opted to relieve midfielder Xhaka of his duties after he reacted angrily to supporters following his substitution in a recent draw with Crystal Palace.

Emery announced on Tuesday that he had taken the decision to remove the 27-year-old from the role, selecting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as his first choice instead.

"The captaincy or who has this on the pitch, I don't think it's very important," defender Sokratis said.

"It's important that all the team is good in the dressing room. We are like a family. In the end who brings the pitch the captaincy is the last thing."

Granit Xhaka should be stripped of the Arsenal captaincy, according to Charlie Nicholas
Image: Granit Xhaka was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy by boss Unai Emery

Sokratis, who played alongside Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund before the pair were reunited at the Emirates last summer, is keen for the striker to maintain his focus on finding the back of the net.

Asked what Aubameyang was like as a leader, Sokratis added: "I don't know, I think it's the first time he is a captain.

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"For me it's more important that Auba first has to score, he has to do his work.

"He's a very good guy. But I already said something - who has the captaincy is not very important."

Unai Emery looks on from the bench during Vitoria Guimaraes vs Arsenal 0:49
Arsenal head coach Unai Emery says his defence must improve after they conceded a late goal to Vitoria SC in the Europa League

After a disappointing Europa League draw away to Vitoria on Wednesday, Arsenal return to Premier League action at the weekend looking to improve on a record of two wins from their last nine games.

They travel to in-form Leicester on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League, six points behind the Foxes and two places below them.

"It's a very big game, it's a game we have to win," Sokratis said. "Of course we have a lot of games in front and if we see last year we were there but in the last seven games, we didn't win one.

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"The other teams were six, seven points behind us but in the end they were in front. We need to be consistent all year, not only one month.

"Leicester is in a very good moment, they're a very hungry team. You can see this. We have to be ready to beat them."

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