A new era has dawned at Arsenal and the dawn of Unai Emery's reign at the Emirates Stadium is upon us following two decades under Arsene Wenger.
"We started our careers as coaches at maybe the same kind of time and his career, statistically, is better than me also but I like more playing against him because it demands more from the preparation, to try to win against his teams". Despite his emphasis on a new way, the manager's selections represent an expression of confidence in players who have been at Arsenal for years during which the team has been accused of suffering from a chronic lack of leadership.
Experienced defender Per Mertesacker served as the Gunners' club captain before his retirement at the end of last season and now fellow centre-back Koscielny will take on the responsibility. "Today, we had a meeting with the players to close all the possibilities to bring more players", said Emery.
Emery's decision to appoint five captains is all part of his desire to change the way Arsenal work after he succeeded Wenger in the summer.
Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Bernd Leno were all drafted in.
"I met the Kroenke family in Atlanta and he gave us his commitment in this project with Arsenal", added Emery.
Emery speaks English far from fluently but his command of the language has improved since his appointment in May and he hopes his team have made similar strides during the summer.
"The past is very important in this club, with the people that were working here". The same when we are thinking defensively, I want our strikers to be thinking: "We need to protect the goalkeepers".
"It's clear, the aim for the club is to arrive as champions, play for titles".