Yesterday’s game at the Emirates was memorable for all the wrong reasons yesterday. DT’s hat got stolen, Troopz had his most explosive rant yet, Claude said ‘IT’S TIME TO GO!’. Sorry, I’ll be serious, here are our thoughts on whether Granit Xhaka is finished at Arsenal:
What was set to be a return to form for Arsenal turned out to be an awful afternoon for everyone involved. Giving away a 2-0 lead to Crystal Palace at home is unacceptable. More points dropped with yet another underwhelming performance. The pressure on Unai Emery was set to intensify before his captain took the spotlight from him. Not in a good way.
When the Swiss international’s name was called out for substitution, he proceeded to throw the captain’s armband on the floor after ironic jeers from his own fans. Consequently, the midfielder flailed his arms in frustration as he received more boos from the Gunners faithful. But we’re not done there. He then proceeded to cup his ear, shout f*** off to the fans, pull his shirt off and storm down the tunnel. Dramatic to say the least.
The events in North London have certainly divided Arsenal fans on social media. Some fans have severed all ties with the 27 year old, taking his disrespect to the manager, fans and the club personally. Seeing their captain trudge off and create such embarassing scenes will leave a mark. That’s for sure.
However there is also sympathy for the former Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder. People are questioning the Arsenal fans and whether their reaction to Xhaka’s substitution was justified. He wasn’t having a terrible game, in fact, at worst he was average but not worse than that. To ironically cheer and boo your own player, your own captain, isn’t sitting well with some fans.
This isn’t the first time Arsenal players have received stick off their own fans during the game. Eboue, Walcott, Iwobi and most recently Mustafi. Granted it must feel awful being booed by, at the end of the day, the people you wear the badge for. Yes criticize your players, but do it after the match not during the 90 minutes. It disrupts the whole team, let alone the confidence of the player in question.
But all the players above left the pitch promptly without fuss and professionally handled the situation. In fact, all of them got back into the fans’ good books. Even Mustafi! The way Xhaka handled it, fans will never forget that. He looks set to lose the armband, as the club confirm they will speak to him this week.
But will he be picked for the next game? Does he even have a future in an Arsenal shirt? The fact he hasn’t issued an apology now over 24 hours since the incident only adds fuel to the fire. It’s not looking good for the former Basel midfielder.
I think he’s finished. Burning bridges like he has done would take so many good performances to repair, which are even harder to see from midfield. It’s not like he can go on a goal scoring run as a defensive midfielder. He might think he’s being made a scapegoat, but if wants a future in North London, he’ll have to swallow his pride and start conducting himself properly. Like any captain would.
Can he win back the fans he told to f*** off? Well, it won’t be easy…
I think Granit Xhaka is finished at Arsenal. What do you think? For more articles on the beautiful game, follow us on Twitter @TasteofFtbl