Beleaguered captain Xhaka out of Wolves tie


Beleaguered captain Xhaka out of Wolves tie
Soccer Football - Premier League - Arsenal v Crystal Palace - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - October 27, 2019 Arsenal's Granit Xhaka reacts after being substituted Action Images via Reuters/Tony O'Brien

In Summary

  • Arsenal manager Unai Emery says he does not plan to play club captain Granit Xhaka in Saturday's Premier League game against Wolves
  • Xhaka gave an explanation to why he gestured towards fans and swore at them, after he was jeered as he was substituted during Arsenal's 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace

Arsenal manager Unai Emery says he does not plan to play club captain Granit Xhaka in Saturday’s Premier League game against Wolves.

Xhaka gave an explanation to why he gestured towards fans and swore at them, after he was jeered as he was substituted during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.

Emery suggested the midfielder will not be in the squad to face Wolves, but did not confirm whether 27-year-old would remain as the club captain.

“The first is the person, the human. Like everyone he feels, Xhaka, with his issues, needs time to recover normality,” Emery said.

“He said sorry, he gave the apology to the supporters and to everybody. Now is the focus on the match. He is training with normality with the team.

“We were waiting on Monday and Tuesday (to sort out the captaincy).

“It is not in my mind that he will play tomorrow. I am thinking tomorrow he is not going to play.

“Now we need to be focused 100 per cent only on the match. We are going to do the training today but at the moment it is not in my mind.

“I want to speak about the players who are going to play.”

Emery says he was pleased with Mesut Ozil and Gabriel Martinelli’s performances in Arsenal’s midweek Carabao Cup exit at Anfield.

The Spaniard says Ozil, who was making his first appearance since September, could “help” the team on Saturday against Wolves.

“It is very important (for them to take their chances),” he said.

“We are playing a lot of matches and for them it is a challenge each match to show how they are and how they can help us .

“The performance on Wednesday in Liverpool was positive. I am thinking how they can help us tomorrow.”

The Arsenal head coach also spoke of the importance of re-establishing a “connection” between the team and the supporters following a week which saw that relationship fractured.

The Spaniard says he puts a much larger importance on the feeling from fans inside the stadium, arguing that a proportion of the reaction on social media is not grounded in “reality”.

“Everybody will have some social media. (We have to) use it being intelligent. We can respect the people on social media, (but) we have to separate how much of it is reality – it is transmitting every supporter if they follow or not,” he argued.

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