Arsenal's captains of the Premier League era ranked as Aubameyang is stripped of the armband

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been stripped of the Arsenal captaincy

It's never quiet at Arsenal, is it?

On Tuesday lunchtime, news broke that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been stripped of the captain's armband by Mikel Arteta after a breach of discipline last week that meant he was left out of the squad for Saturday's clash with Southampton.

In truth, the Gunners haven't had much luck with captains over the years, but have they all been bad?

GIVEMESPORT's Sam Brookes has taken a look at all 12 of the club's captains during the Premier League era and ranked them from best to worst...

12. William Gallas

Who can forget Gallas sitting on the pitch sulking after Arsenal had conceded a last-minute equaliser against Birmingham in 2008? At the time, Arsene Wenger's side were still firmly in the title race but you wouldn't have known it from the look on Gallas's face.

The leader is supposed to set the example, and Gallas struggled to do that when he was named skipper. When you factor in that he also played for two of Arsenal's biggest rivals, Chelsea and Tottenham, he has to come bottom of this list.

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11. Laurent Koscielny

There are acrimonious endings to a spell at a club, and then there is what Koscielny did. The Frenchman spent nine years at Arsenal, and there were very few complaints when he was named captain of the team.

However, he undid all his good work by going on strike in 2019, and when he eventually got his move to Ligue 1, he confirmed the transfer by whipping of his Arsenal shirt to reveal a Bordeaux one. That's just not the way a captain should behave.

10. Robin van Persie

Van Persie was a fantastic player for Arsenal, there is no denying that. But it all turned very sour at the end, and that cannot be forgotten.

When he took the armband in 2011, it was hoped that he would perhaps stick around at the Emirates for many years to come. Instead, he decided to jump ship after one season, and joined the club's bitter rivals, Manchester United.

He had the opportunity to become a legend at Arsenal. He blew it.

9. Granit Xhaka

Granit Xhaka in action for Arsenal

Some may question Xhaka being ahead of van Persie, but at least he has stuck around to try to prove himself.

Back in 2019, he trudged from the pitch after being substituted, muttering a number of expletives at the crowd who had turned against him. It looked like there was no way back for the Swiss international.

However, he remains on the club's books for now, and seems to have won a few of the doubters over. That shows mental resilience, and he deserves some credit for that.

8. Thomas Vermaelen

Vermaelen was exceptional towards the start of his career at Arsenal. The defence was essentially built around him at one point.

However, he had a terrible problem with injuries in the latter stages of his five-year spell at the club, so it is a little hard to judge how good he was as a captain.

He didn't annoy the fanbase, who could hardly blame him when he left for Barcelona in 2014, so bringing him in to take eighth spot seems fair.

7. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

The Gabon forward deserves to be ahead of the others because he did achieve something during his captaincy.

Arsenal supporters may be frustrated with the 32-year-old at the moment, but he was the player who dragged the club to the FA Cup in 2020 by scoring goals in the semi-final and the final. That warrants recognition.

Over the past 15 months, though, things have quickly gone downhill. He is no longer a guaranteed starter, and his off-field antics have become a major issue.

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6. Per Mertesacker

Mertesacker divided opinion at times for Arsenal. At 6 foot 6, he was never the quickest, was he?

Still, he did bring calmness to the back four, and the team did win the FA Cup under his leadership. He now works with the club's academy and has helped to bring through the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe in recent years.

5. Mikel Arteta

Now the manager, Arteta could hardly be criticised for the job he did while wearing the armband for Arsenal.

He took over the role at a difficult time, with the side struggling to challenge for the title. However, they were still a threat in cup competitions, and Arteta can be proud of the fact that he was the skipper on the day when Arsenal ended their nine-year wait for a trophy in 2014 by winning the FA Cup.

4. Cesc Fabregas

The club's decline had well and truly started when Fabregas was made captain at the age of just 21 in the late 2000s.

Playing in the middle of the park, he led by example on the pitch, and even featured in games when he was some way short of being 100% fit.

A move to Barcelona followed, and he tarnished his reputation somewhat at Arsenal by joining Chelsea a few years later, but he was an exceptional player at the club for several seasons.

3. Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry is regarded as a legendary figure at Arsenal

Arsenal's greatest ever player? He's certainly in the conversation.

Taking over from Patrick Vieira was never going to be easy, but Henry did an admirable job, leading the Gunners to the Champions League final in 2006. That game could have been so very different had Jens Lehmann not been sent off early on. 

Arguably the best forward the Premier League has seen, Henry set the standard at Arsenal, and his teammates tried to follow his lead.

2. Patrick Vieira

This is a tough one. There is a debate to be had that Vieira is Arsenal's greatest captain since the Premier League started almost three decades ago. After all, he did wear the armband during the season of 'The Invincibles.'

However, he opted to leave the club a year later, and that decision means that the box-to-box midfielder just misses out on top spot.

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1. Tony Adams

They don't make them like Adams anymore. 

He was the heartbeat of the Arsenal team during the 1990s, and his goal against Everton to wrap up Arsenal's first Premier League title in 1998 is still remembered fondly by Arsenal fans to this day.

What Arsenal would give to have a player of his ilk in their side right now. 

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