Arsenal boss claims decision to make Theo Walcott captain did not lead to Chelsea defeat

Emirates Stadium

The forward was surprisingly given the armband for the clash against the Blues.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has defended the decision to make Theo Walcott the captain for Sunday's clash against Chelsea, after the Gunners fell to a narrow defeat at the Emirates, the London Evening Standard reports.

To celebrate the forward's decade with the club, Walcott led the side out, and was also surprisingly given the armband for the clash in place of Per Mertesacker

With Guus Hiddink's men coming away with an important three points thanks to a goal from Diego Costa, Wenger was forced to answer a question regarding whether the decision to make the 26-year-old the skipper ultimately contributed to the result.

"We are frustrated after the game because we could not play with our real assets. I don't think that is down to Mertesacker giving the captaincy to Walcott," he said, as reported by the London Evening Standard.

Although not having the armband is unlikely to have impacted on Mertesacker's game - which ended after just 18 minutes as he was dismissed for making a challenge on Diego Costa - it could be argued that it could have affected Walcott's performance. 

It may have forced the England international to feel that he had an added responsibility, and thus, may have ensured that he could not concentrate fully on his own game. 

And while Wenger will deny that the change of captain impacted on the result, it seems very unlikely that Walcott will be wearing the armband for the FA Cup clash against Burnley next weekend, even with Mertesacker now suspended.

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