Emery unhappy with Arsenal skipper's angry reaction
Monday 28 October 2019 15:36, UK
Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka appeared to swear at the Emirates crowd when he was booed off during ugly scenes midway through the Gunners' extraordinary 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.
Despite Arsenal being denied an apparent late winning goal by a controversial VAR intervention, the dominant post-match talking point was an unpleasant flashpoint between the Gunners skipper and the home crowd.
When asked if Xhaka would remain captain, Arsenal boss Unai Emery pointedly replied: "Now is not the time to talk about that."
Already a divisive figure among the Arsenal support, Xhaka's withdrawal was initially cheered by supporters within the Emirates.
The midfielder responded by waving his arms at the crowd, cupping his ears towards them and, according to some reports, seemingly mouthing an obscenity.
He then rejected a handshake from his manager, Emery, took off his shirt and stalked down the tunnel.
"He was wrong," Emery said after the game. "We need to stay calm and speak to him internally about that. He was not right to do that.
"We are working with the club and the players to play under pressure.
"We are going to speak with him because the reaction was wrong. We are here because we have supporters. We work for them and need to have respect for them when they are applauding us and criticising us."
Sky Sports' Oliver Yew at the Emirates...
'Nasty scenes at the Emirates as Xhaka's number goes up. He's going to be replaced by Saka. There are huge ironic cheers from the home fans to greet the decision.
'Xhaka then strolls off the pitch. He's in no hurry to get off and the Arsenal fans rise as one to urge him off. It's loud, very loud as they make their displeasure known towards the Arsenal captain, who cups his hands to his ears.
'He's still in no hurry as the jeers get louder and louder. He cups his hand to his ear one more time and appears to mouth a response to the jeers before taking his shirt off and heading straight down the tunnel.'
There are surely big question marks as to whether Xhaka will feature when Arsenal travel to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening, live on Sky Sports Football; Kick-off 7.30pm
After that, they face Wolves at Emirates Stadium next Saturday in the Premier League; Kick-off 3pm.