The Granit Xhaka Jeering Makes Me Feel Uneasy But I Understand it

I have never been a big fan of Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka. I don’t think he offers enough discipline when protecting his team’s backline and his mistakes always seem to cost his club.

That being said, I did think he looked to have improved last season especially when playing alongside Lucas Torreira.

Alas he has once again struggled this term and at times this season Arsenal have really disappointed in the Premier League.

Last night, The Gunners threw away a two goal lead before drawing with Crystal Palace at the Emirates (BBC Match Report).

A section of the Arsenal fanbase have lost confidence in Spanish boss Unai Emery and Xhaka has become a target of their frustration.

Now Emery hasn’t helped matters by making the Swiss midfielder one of his captains. The Gooner faithful are used to the likes of Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira and Cesc Fabregas wearing the armband with distinction and giving standout displays.

They’ve voiced their concerns about Granit for a while and to see him get the captain’s armband would have angered quite a few. To then see him underperforming just gives them more ammo to attack him with.

Emery should have been smarter and given the captaincy to a young warrior like Matteo Guendouzi or an established fans favourite like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Getting back to last night…

Arsenal throw away their lead and Unai decides to haul off Xhaka on the hour mark and bring on youngster Bukayo Saka. The substitution was met with Arsenal fans jeering their captain and celebrating the fact he was leaving the field of play.

On his part Xhaka responded by sarcastically geeing up the crowd and cupping his hand to his ear. He then stormed up the tunnel.

After the game Unai Emery stated he wasn’t impressed by Granit’s reaction:

“He was wrong, he was wrong,”

“But I think now [we] stay calm and also speak with him, speak inside around that. His reaction was wrong. We are here because we have supporters. In football we are the workers inside [the pitch] but we play for them. We need to have respect for them when they are applauding us and also when they are criticising us.”

Via The Guardian

I think Emery is right to have a wee pop at Xhaka but I also think the Spaniard has to have a go at the home support too. He needs to protect his player as much as possible and ask the fans to back the midfielder.

I get supporters pay a huge whack to get into football stadia these days but that doesn’t mean that they should be so vocal when criticising their own players during a game.

Granit Xhaka didn’t drop those two points, the Arsenal side including the management team threw away that two goal advantage. Wait till full-time and boo them and criticise individuals on social media, don’t abuse them just be critical of their performance.

There was still about thirty minutes to play at the Emirates last night and that reaction to the substitution would’ve just added a toxic pressure to those that remained on the pitch. We know this current crop at Arsenal are mentally fragile, booing the captain and his reaction just helped in creating even more insecurity.

I’ve said before that I’d play Torreira and Guendouzi in the holding midfield roles and have Dani Ceballos in there helping out too. Give Granit a rest and a chance to regain his composure.

Unai Emery has to take on the responsibility of protecting his players and sometimes that means taking them out of the team, for the good of the side as well as the player himself.

That being said, supporters need to understand that players are constantly out there giving their all. They don’t go out to deliberately make mistakes or mess things up.

Personally I get why the fans were/are so frustrated, they’ve seen it all before with Granit Xhaka but this time I think they went too far with the jeering.

2 Responses to “The Granit Xhaka Jeering Makes Me Feel Uneasy But I Understand it”

  1. The boos initially were targeted at Emery for another stupid substitution. Yet again why do you take you captain off. When you are chasing a game. After Xhaka threw the armband it went pear

  2. Hi LE,

    I think Emery mismanaged the whole situation and not for the time either.


Leave a Reply