Unai Emery has said he’ll be speaking with Granit Xhaka after the Arsenal captain stoked hostility from his own fans when his substitution was greeted with ironic cheers.
In ugly scenes just past the hour mark in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace, large swathes of the Emirates crowd, frustrated at their side giving up a healthy lead, turned on the Swiss when it was announced he was to be replaced by Bukayo Saka.
Rather than jog off, the midfielder chucked his armband at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, slowly made his way to the touchline, mouthed ‘f*ck off’ at the crowd and cupped his ear to the ensuing boos. He then took his shirt off and went straight down the tunnel.
It was an unpleasant incident all round and came against the backdrop of another disjointed Gunners performance.
“He’s wrong, but we are going to speak inside about that situation,” said Emery.
“I want to listen to him and be calm. But really he was wrong in this action.
“Now we need to stay calm and speak with him, to speak inside about that reaction.
“His reaction was wrong in that moment. We are working, me and the club, inside with every player to manage playing under pressure.
“We need to be clever in our minds and create habits under pressure for our minds to be clearer.
“We can play with our hearts and can be hot in difficult moments, but our minds must be clever. We are going to speak about that, of course, because the reaction was wrong.
“We will speak with the players and the club about this reaction.”
As for whether the Swiss international would remain as captain, Emery wouldn’t be drawn.
“It’s not the moment to speak about that. First, I want to speak with him and the club, and we want to stay calm before we speak about that. He was not right to do that.”
For more on the Xhaka situation – make sure to read tomorrow’s post on arseblog.com