Granit Xhaka’s captaincy might be in jeopardy after his angry confrontation with home supporters during Sunday’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace. Coach Unai Emery said after the controversy that the Swiss footballer should apologise for his behaviour.
Arsenal have also offered to counsel the 27-year old as Emery said that the midfielder is ‘devastated’ after the episode.
Xhaka’s substitution during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw was met with sarcastic cheers from the home fans at the Emirates Stadium. Reacting to the fans’ boos, Xhaka cupped his hand to his ear, walked past boss Emery without shaking his hand, before taking off his shirt and storming down the tunnel.
Auba picked the armband from the GROUND. #xhaka walking sluggishly when your team is chasing after goal. Barely shaked @UnaiEmery_. Threw shirt to the ground, walked straight into the tunnel. Shambolic. #afc pic.twitter.com/NPp0i3x8y2
— Harrison Ifeanyichukwu (@Harrisonifeany3) October 27, 2019
“Yes (he should apologise). We make mistakes, we need to apologise and we suggested for him to do that,” Emery told reporters on Tuesday. “He is now devastated – devastated and sad. We spoke yesterday, and also on Sunday night. It is not easy for him and for the team.”
“We need our family, friends and supporters to support us, love us. He is not feeling that with the supporters. But we are speaking with him ‘first, be calm. Be close to your family and be close to us because we are your family’,” he said.
On Xhaka’s captaincy, Emery said, “At the moment I am not speaking and I don’t want to think about that.” Xhaka is not a part of the League Cup squad for Arsenal but Mesut Ozil, who has not featured in a single match since September 24, will be a part of the travelling side.
“He’s in the group so he has a chance to play,” Emery said. “We have had this morning a very good conversation, Mesut and me, and I said to him I haven’t changed my idea about him. He knows what I want from him because it’s the same as last season on the first day of pre-season training when we had a conversation,” Emery added.