Mings, Aubameyang and the Premier League players who have been stripped of the captaincy

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Tyrone Mings, Aston Villa

As a long time Premier League captain, Steven Gerrard knows a bit about the demands of the job. However, his decision to strip Tyrone Mings of the captaincy coupled with his less than favourable comments were still seen as a little bit over the top by sections of the Aston Villa fanbase.

Whether it's because Gerrard sees a bit of himself in new skipper John McGinn, or just that he doesn't fancy Mings, you do have to feel sorry for the England international.

After Saturday's opening day defeat against Bournemouth, Gerrard : "When Tyrone is back at his best and looks me in the eye and shows that he's ready to play, he'll get opportunities."

Gerrard himself was famously awarded the Liverpool captaincy in 2003 after then boss Gerard Houllier removed Sami Hyypia from the job, saying that Gerrard deserved the armband to reflect his growing influence on the team.

Here, GOAL remembers six other skippers who fell out with their gaffers and teammates.

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Barcelona preseasoGetty Images

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - Arsenal

    For a young manager, a revolt from such a senior, influential player might have been a daunting prospect - but Mikel Arteta dealt with Aubameyang's misbehaviour pretty well.

    The then-Arsenal captain had failed to return to London for training after a trip to France in December last year, resulting in disciplinary action after several breaches.

    "Following his latest disciplinary breach last week, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will no longer be our club captain," read a statement on Arsenal’s website. "We expect all our players, particularly our captain, to work to the rules and standards we have all set and agreed."

    With that, Aubameyang was out of the picture at the club. The striker appeared happy to leave, joining Barcelona in January and ending his Arsenal career in ignominious style.

  • Xhaka Arsenal Liverpool 2022Getty

    Granit Xhaka - Arsenal

    Aubameyang was not the first disruptive Arsenal captain. In fact, it was the Gabonese striker who took the armband when Xhaka was stripped of it for telling fans to "f*** off".

    The midfielder reacted angrily when substituted during a game, unhappy with the reception he got from supporters at Emirates Stadium as he walked off the pitch.

    It took some time for Xhaka to apologise and to rebuild relations with the Gunners faithful, but he did so eventually.

    The Switzerland international appears to have been liberated without the burden of the captaincy, continuing to be a regular under Arteta.

  • William Gallas Arsenal 30032010Getty Images

    William Gallas - Arsenal

    An Arsenal hat-trick.

    Gallas, brazenly and apparently without any regard for the consequences, decided to publicly attack teammates Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri in an interview promoting his autobiography.

    Arsene Wenger did not take kindly to it, taking the armband off the French defender midway through the 2008-09 season.

    With his popularity at the Emirates already waning, Gallas' decision to join Tottenham in 2010 was the final nail in the coffin.

  • Chris Samba Blackburn Premier LeagueGetty Images

    Chris Samba - Blackburn

    Big Chris Samba was not someone to be messed with - particularly if you happen to be a diminutive Scot.

    However, Steve Kean was not intimidated upon taking the managerial role at Blackburn after the departure of Sam Allardyce in 2010.

    After Samba suggested he might be open to a move elsewhere, Kean immediately appointed a new captain, although the Frenchman didn't take long to win the armband back.

    “The way he explained it to me was really good,” Kean said. “He said, ‘I’ve never asked to leave. All I said was that if a bigger club comes in I’ve aspirations to play in Europe and win things, then it’s something I would look at’.

    “I stressed that we want to build a squad that gets us into the top half, then next summer we’ll make additions to try and challenge the top six. As soon as he heard that he was much more positive.”

  • Joey Barton - QPR

    Handing the armband to such an infamously volatile character was always going to be a recipe for disaster.

    So it proved. On a day best remembered for Sergio Aguero's incredible last-minute winner to clinch the 2011-12 Premier League title at Etihad Stadium, Barton saw red after characteristically losing his cool.

    First he elbowed Carlos Tevez, then kicked Aguero, and finally he threatened to headbutt Vincent Kompany.

    The punishment was a 12-game ban, a fine of six weeks' worth of wages and the end of his QPR captaincy.

  • Roy Keane Manchester UnitedGetty Images

    Roy Keane - Man Utd

    Losing the captaincy would sting for most professional footballers, but for Keane it was akin to a personal insult.

    He was so incensed in fact, that when told by Sir Alex Ferguson that he was losing the armband, Keane left Man Utd.

    A heated argument between Ferguson and Keane ultimately led to the latter's departure, ending a saga which had started when the Ireland midfielder had publicly criticised his teammates on MUTV.

    In his 2014 autobiography, Keane wrote: "I'd known for a few days they were trying to get rid of me

    "I said to Ferguson, 'Can I play for somebody else? He said, 'Yeah, you can. 'Cos we're tearing up your contract.

    "I knew there'd be clubs in for me when the news got out. I said, 'Yeah. I think we have come to the end.' I just thought, 'F****** p****' and I stood up and went, 'Yeah, I'm off.'"