Football News

Arsenal: Granit Xhaka’s actions branded as “wrong” by Unai Emery

By Ollie Thomas

Published: 20:36, 27 October 2019

Unai Emery has condemned Granit Xhaka’s reaction to being substituted during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Sunday.

When the Gunners’ captain was pulled off just before the hour mark, what followed was a bitter confrontation between him and the Arsenal faithful.

Xhaka’s walk off the pitch: Five things to know…

  • When Xhaka’s number was put on the board, the home crowd cheered.
  • The cheers turned to jeers as Xhaka slowly dragged himself off the pitch.
  • He began cupping his ears and shouting abuse at the Arsenal fans.
  • Instead of sitting on the bench, he ripped his Arsenal shirt off…
  • …and headed straight down the tunnel.

Xhaka has been a polarising figure at Arsenal during his time at the club but was handed the armband by Emery at the start of the season. Many fans have been calling for the midfielder to be dropped and vented their frustrations at the Switzerland international when he was hauled off.

Such an exchange between a captain and his own fans will be cause for concern for Emery, who kept his cards close to his chest when quizzed on his thoughts on the incident.

He told BBC Sport: “He’s wrong. He is wrong, but we’re going to speak inside about that situation. First, I want to listen to him and to also be calm. But really, he was wrong.”

Arsenal struggle once again

Emery had Nicolas Pepe to thank for his side’s victory against Vitoria in the week but no one was able to bail the Gunners out on Sunday after yet another lacklustre performance.

The game appeared over before the 10-minute mark as centre-halves Sokratis and David Luiz scored from consecutive corners to put Arsenal 2-0 up. However, once again, they surrendered their lead.

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The Gunners failed to press home their advantage and two soft goals allowed Palace a route back into the game which they ended up taking. The Eagles, tipped by many to struggle this season, are now sixth and just a point behind Arsenal.

The full-time whistle was met with boos after 90 minutes of hostility from the Emirates faithful. There are serious issues at the club, which need to resolved sooner rather than later.