Granit Xhaka stripped of Arsenal captaincy
Arsenal midfielder has been stripped of the club captaincy days after clashing with the Gunners supporters, Arsenal manager Unai Emery said.
Xhaka appeared to swear at Arsenal supporters after his second-half substitution prompted sarcastic cheers and booing during s 2-2 home draw with Crystal Palace, with the 27-year-old cupping his ears, waving his arms angrily and ripping off his shirt before storming down the tunnel.
Xhaka has faced calls to be stripped of the Arsenal captaincy and he was left out of last Wednesday’s League Cup defeat at Liverpool after Gunners boss Emery admitted his reaction was wrong.
The Swiss international also missed Arsenal’s match against Wolves at the Emirate at the weekend. He is expected to miss the Gunners Europa League clash against Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes on Thursday.
Xhaka apologised to the fans in a statement but said his wife and children threatened and insulted. He also confessed to letting his emotion dictate his actions.
“My feeling of not being understood by fans, and repeated abusive comments at matches and in social media over the last weeks and months have me deeply,” Xhaka said.
“People have said things like, ‘We will break your legs’, ‘Kill your wife’ and ‘Wish that your daughter gets cancer’.
“That has stirred me up and I reached boiling point when I felt the rejection in the stadium on Sunday.
“In this situation, I let myself be carried away and reacted in a way that disrespected the group of fans that support our club, our team and myself with positive energy.
“That has not been my intention and I’m sorry if that’s what people thought.”