Arsene Wenger unaware of who assumed captaincy role

Arsene Wenger admits he does not know who captained his Arsenal side for the second half of their draw with Manchester City.

Arsene Wenger unaware of who assumed captaincy role

The under-fire Frenchman made the startling revelation yesterday morning when he was asked who took the armband from Laurent Koscielny when he was forced off at half-time with an Achilles problem.

With club captain Per Mertesacker not on the pitch and stand-in Petr Cech out injured, there were still likely candidates in the shape of Theo Walcott or Alexis Sanchez.

But it was unclear who, if anyone, had taken the responsibility from Koscielny with Wenger conceding he was not sure who was skipper as the Gunners fought back to seal a 2-2 draw against Pep Guardiola’s side on Sunday.

After ruling both Cech and Koscielny out of tonight’s clash at home to West Ham, Wenger said he was unsure who would lead Arsenal out before making the admission he did not know who had finished Sunday’s game as captain.

“I don’t remember,” he said.

“It is a good question. Nobody asked me who is captain. I will have 24 hours to think about that.”

Wenger also insisted he has no plans to change his approach to the game despite ongoing protests against his continued management of the club.

Protests have been held before the last three home games and a handful of supporters stood outside Arsenal’s training ground yesterday morning as they bid to prevent Wenger signing a new deal.

The Frenchman’s current contract runs until the end of the season but he is yet to announce whether he will stay or go after a run of just three wins in 10 games.

Speaking at a pre-arranged supporters forum on Sunday, chief executive Ivan Gazidis said the recent form should be a “catalyst for change” — although he was not talking specifically about Wenger.

And the 67-year-old said he wants to continue to learn but has no plans to suddenly change the way he operates.

“That has nothing to do with you to change,” he replied when asked about reinventing himself. “That is something you do to improve. My battle in my whole life is to improve and to be better. That is evolution, not change.

“I think we just need to focus on tomorrow (against West Ham) and forget all the rest.”

Wenger also had little time for the protesters stood outside Arsenal’s London Colney training base, one sporting a Wenger mask and surrounded by anti-Wenger banners.

He said: “It is three guys. Honestly. Why should I waste energy on that. Honestly. I don’t know what to say. It is good that they can waste their day like that.

“The problem in our game today is that what is superficial is the heart of the debate and the things that are important nobody talks about.”

Meanwhile, Slaven Bilic has confirmed that West Ham will offer Michail Antonio an improved contract this summer.

Antonio, who is set to return from a hamstring injury against Arsenal tonight, has been the Hammers’ star performer this season and the club are determined to keep him in east London.

Bilic said: “The club is offering him a new contract.”

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