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.

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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