Arsene Wenger has explained his decision on the Arsenal captaincy for Saturday’s clash with Preston North End.

The trip to the second tier side in the third-round of the FA Cup did not see any of Arsenal’s two main skippers Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny feature.

As a result of the duo’s absence, Wenger was required to hand the armband to a different player and Olivier Giroud was the man chosen to lead the team.

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The France international had never been given that role at Arsenal since joining the club from Montpellier in the summer of 2012.

But according to Wenger, it was a reward Giroud deserved after a troubled start to this season.

“I named him captain, I like to rotate the captaincy. He went through a period where he was of course in discomfort because he didn’t play and during this period that was quite long.” the Arsenal manager said

“He kept his focus and worked, I think he has shown leadership qualities so I made him captain today.”

Giroud marked the rare occasion of being Arsenal captain by scoring the winning goal on Saturday after a second-half fight back from the Gunners.

At half-time, the 31-year-old was heard trying to rally the troops by telling his teammates to “show something different” as they trailed Preston 1-0.

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