Unai Emery admits that Granit Xhaka may well have played his last game for Arsenal.
Stripped of the club captaincy following his public falling out with supporters, the midfielder has informed the coach that he’s not in the right mindset to make a return to the pitch.
The Switzerland international has been absent from three consecutive matchday squads and is not being considered for this afternoon’s trip to Leicester.
It’s been widely reported that the Gunners are open to letting the 27-year-old leave the club in January with Newcastle supposedly showing an interest.
Emery seems to believe his hands are tied by the situation. On the one hand he’d like to have Xhaka at his dispoal, on the other, he knows he can’t pick the player given what has happened in the last couple of weeks.
Speaking ahead of the trip to the King Power, the Spaniard said: “As a coach I have a responsibility for the team: we need a player like Granit Xhaka. But also, I don’t know if he’s going to play [for us] again.
“I don’t know because, if he is available in his mind to continue helping us and continue defending the Arsenal shirt, I think time is giving us that solution. Then, if I decide he is in the group with us, if he is ready and 100% in his mind with the decision to help us – we have a solution.”
“He said to me that he is not available yet to play; not Wednesday [the 1-1 draw at Vitória Guimarães], not tomorrow,” he said.
“After Ceballos’s injury we have one less player to use in midfield and we now don’t really have a lot of players in this position,” he said. “It’s important now to [continue] without Granit Xhaka but I don’t know; maybe he can play in the future, maybe he can’t play.”
Asked if he’d spoken the club hierarchy about selling the player soon rather than later, he confirmed that a discussion had taken place.
“Yes, I asked that question. The club knows the player’s decision at any moment, and my decision or idea about that situation and the circumstances.”
Xhaka joined Arsenal for a £35 million fee in the summer of 2016 and signed a contract extension until 2023 last year. While he won’t be short of suitors – there was talk of a big-money move to Inter Milan in the summer – you can’t help but think his market value will have taken a hit.
The new Arsenal.
Not sure why Xhaka is calling the shots here. If he’s fit and under contract he plays. Behaving like a bit of a spoilt teenager. Sulking, not properly apologised. Nearly every player gets booed in their career. If this is how he responds then maybe it’s best he moves on ASAP.
He’s not calling the shots though, is he? The fans kind of are. Do you really think it is a realistic possibility to play Xhaka under the current circumstances? In the current atmosphere?
You lead by example. If Xhaka played this weekend with his chest puffed out and gave it his all, I’d be a lot more impressed than him hiding away, saying he’s not ready to play. Come on, no one died. He took a bit of a ribbing. We could’ve used him on the bench today.
Exactly, no one died, yet that was precisely the reaction on most blogs podcasts etc… “He can’t play for arsenal again!” “He must be sold!”…
I don’t remember blogs being that emphatic. But if you want a site that toes the party line, remains impartial and unopinionated then maybe just stick to reading arsenal.com.
This all revolves around Emery’s incompetence at man management. He made a real pig’s ear of dealing with the Ozil situation, he’s doing the same with Xhaka, who knows he may have been involved in Kos throwing his toys out of the pram too?
Ultimately Emery should be laying out the law, providing the necessary environment and encouragement for the team to function to the best of their ability but the guy just cannot hack it.
We don’t on the whole have bad players but we certainly consistently put in poor performances so where does that buck stop?
Not with this manager. No. If he was protecting his players. Yes. But y’know the next time Xhaka plays, if he is below par, Emery will talk and talk and make matters worse. Best for Xhaka if he doesn’t play and either leave in January or we bring someone new in who can basically say that they are working with the group and want time with all players, no one will be excluded due to events ouside of the new coach’s control and that they want the fans behind them and the team as we embark on ehatever is left… Read more »
It’s kind of mental. Can anyone recall a player basically refusing to play because the fans turned against him?
Yeah, Xhaka needs to get the fuck over himself. I quite like him but he’s been largely rubbish for us, so I’ll be glad to get rid.
I don’t trust anything Emery says any more. He twists everything.
Throwing the armband at Auba who has to pick it off the floor and then telling the fans to fuck off kinda does that sometimes
I think he was reacting with anger to a situation that is basically down to Emery’s misuse of him. The coach sticks him in the wrong position, makes him Captain, and picks him in that wrong position every game. It sets Xhaka up as the main target for the fans frustrations. Like fools they blame him instead of Emery for all the team’s shortcomings. In my opinion Emery is a manipulating coach who puts a string of alternative targets between himself and the fans, trying to preserve his own reputation even as he fails dismally at the basics of his… Read more »
Yes its Emery’s fault but as captain he has a duty to take it and just get off the pitch and not disrespect team mates and fans. Imagine of he did that to someone like Adam’s or Keown. Heck imagine if he did that to Rosicky.
I’d reacted the same if I was booed by my own fans. Fuck “duty to take it”. There’s no such thing. I couldn’t give a toss about “back in the day of such and such they’d never have stood for it” either. How do you know that anyway? Maybe back in the day your Adams and Keowns would have received a smack in the mouth for laying into someone like Xhaka off the back of what some so called fans had just done to him. Or maybe they would have actually backed him? I think Xhaka should leave Arsenal for… Read more »
Tactically not noticed Xhaka playing in a position that different than under Wenger. I looked at for it on t.v. And when I have been at stadium.
Is it just me or does anyone else feel that Emery is behaving like a politician in the last few months or so – shrugging off responsibility, blaming others, taking credit, creating a smokescreen around Xhaka / Ozil to hide his own failings?
Unacceptable, he’s paid to play even if he’s not gopd enough. If any manager picls him he plays end of regardless of his feelings. If he’s mentally fit ebough to train he’s mentally fit enough to play in a low pressure europa game to rest our 1st team.
Sure, let him play so you can boo him again the first time he does something wrong “because he’s not good enough.” The number one reason why Xhaka will not play in the near future is that fans have make it abundantly clear they don’t want to see him on the pitch, and Emery has finally given in. That’s all there is to it.
There wasn’t going to be an issue if he hadn’t slow walked and thrown the armband. How can you not see that? If he just jogged off quickly after a few ironic cheers it wouldn’t even have been remarked on after the match! It would have just been a routine substitution. Players get subbed off all the time, it’s part of their job to respond to that professionally. He is in the wrong and now he’s refusing to play! We need him as a backup option if we have another injury or to rest guendouzi in the Europa. Completely unprofessional… Read more »
Perhaps I should have said not good enough to start week in week out. I’m sure he won’t get bood much in a dead rubber europa game so while he’s under contract he cab play those games, and if he plays professionally and decently he has a foot in the door again. Either way it’s either a situation where emery is mismanaging or xhaka is refusing to play.
Where did I say that I justify his behaviour? I don’t. Can we however agree that most fans wanted him out of the squad and were very vocal even before the incident? Now he’s out of the squad, and people moan because Emery is saying he won’t play…
Emery manipulates the fans too.
Not out of the squad, out of the best PL 11. Most fans didnt want him as a guaranteed starter because they were sick of his mistakes and they wanted Torreira instead. We need bodies in midfield to cover Europa and not overuse young players like we did to Jack.
In the summer I was on the fence about whether we should keep Xhaka strictly as a squad option or if we should look to sell. He was a good enough player for the squad but not to start, and him on the bench did give the likes of Guendouzi and Torreira room to grow. But on the other hand selling him would have given us a decent fee that we could reinvest in the Kante/Fabinho/Fernandinho-level DM we’ve been crying out for for like a decade. Well I’m not on the fence anymore! This whole debacle has made his position… Read more »
What the fuck? Torreira is elite DM.
Torreira has huge potential for sure, but elite level right now? You wouldn’t pick him ahead of the more experienced options I mentioned. And you have players like Rodri and Ndidi who are a similar age but IMO ahead in their development.
I think, considering where we are now as a team, it’s better to have a higher tier DM in the first 11 and to give Torreira more time to improve and develop as a player. That’s how a top team would do it anyway!
No. That would be like buying top class RB to be first choice until Bellerin becomes better player (which he wont by not playing, same as Torreira).
Toreira can’t play all the games. Nothing wrong with having Ndidi in the team. Competition will make them better anyways
Just my opinion but I think Bellerin is one of the best RBs in the league already. He’d probably start for every team outside the top 2 and is much further along in his development than Torreira. And it’s a squad game, there’d still be plenty of opportunities for Torreira to play if we brought in a top class starter in that position. Regardless, our main concern right now should be challenging for top honours with the best team possible.
Hate to say it, guess evra was right.
You know the guy at work who everyone hates. That’s Emery. He’s the guy at work who everyone hates
I think there is more to this story. Seems convenient putting all the blame on Xhaka. Also, put yourself in Xhaka’s shoes: first misplaced pass, first mistake, and all hell breaks loose. Can he really help the team under these conditions? Now, if Emery was a strong character, after all that happened and his part of responsibility in it, he would say that it’s his decision that Xhaka is not ready to play. But no, easier to pile more sh*it on the player. Saying stuff like that in a presser only makes contributes in making sure he actually won’t play… Read more »
….and should things continue to go wrong…. “I could have picked Xhaka in a few games, but the Arsenal fans wouldn’t accept it. Its not my fault we missed out on Europe entirely.”
No pay for Xhaka until that baby decides he is ready to play.
He is essentially on strike then and should have his wages suspended. If he is refusing to play for Arsenal despite being fit he is not meeting the obligations of his contract.
He is well respected by the squad. They should know what makes a good player. They wanted him as captain. They probably would rather have seen Torreira as DM and Xhaka concentrating on being the Captain rather than worrying about being played in Torreira’s position and put under pressure in situations that he has been shoehorned into facing. If he wasn’t being played as DM he wouldn’t have been making those crucial but clumsily done last ditch tackles in the box that pissed everybody off.
I worry about Auba getting the armband… looks a bit of a poisoned chalice when you look at many of the last 5-6…
He should then futsake!
Honestly this is getting quite rediculous to be honest. The lack of man and team management in this team is appalling honestly don’t think some of the players respect the manager. Do you think any player would have the guts to behave like that to say a Sir Alex Ferguson I mean the guy kicked a shoe at David Beckham. There is absolutely no leadership in this team, the management and board need to grow a spine and soon
This is mental. First Emery outcasts our top playmaker for months without telling us what’s really going on…we still don’t know…then our Swiss self destruct button, who should have never been given the captaincy in the first place, is refusing to play. It’s time for the board to grow a pair and sort this mess out before we start plummeting down the league. It’s in their hands now as Emery is glued to the spot till he’s pushed. As this rate we’ll be lucky to qualify for the Europa league this season! Watching this afternoon’s match and hoping that some… Read more »
This is where we are now. This mess is what we are. And manager does not have cohenes to say that we dont need fools like xhaka anyway
Poor Xhaka can’t play because he’s sad after he told us to fck off. Hopefully he’s not getting paid.
Ffs the solution is quite simple. Sack this coach. Then maybe we go back to being a club who doesn’t alienate people, plays our best players in the best position and move forward with some sort of tactical and stylistic plan. Tired of having the same conversations over and over again when for once the problem is very clear. It’s not rocket science.
There really is no need for this behaviour from Granit. Ok I get it that you have been trolled badly and all the mean words etc. But this has all taught me I was right to doubt the guy was right for the captaincy and like a few players he doesn’t have the right mentality.
But does he get to keep the key?
For all the stick he has gotten from a portion of the fanbase for the last few years, it turns out that Ozil is mentally and emotionally stronger than Xhaka and Emery combined.
All self inflicted by self entitled fans. Now translated to the squad. 1) we have a thin limited number of assets already in a non functioning midfield. Now made worse by lack of Granit. Still no control if not worse without the Swiss. Torreira hardly Santi, Guendouzi and Willock still wet behind the ears. Cebellos at best a (temporary) replacement for Ramsey. Nothing done last summer to strengthen us in the engine room. 2) Lack of leadership. At very least Xhaka was willing to try and organize us. Instead we have Auba now as captain, no motivation, rudderless for the… Read more »
Unfortunately his comments/actions show how mentally weak the Arsenal team as a whole is. How can one who is under contract say he is not mentally ready to play because he got booed for slowly waddling off the pitch with a pouty attitude when being subbed out? I can understand maybe one game, but three games? Give me a freaking break. I don’t care if we have to go with Smith-Rowe, Saka or Willock in the central midfield, get Xhaka out of here with that attitude.
A one trick pony who was never good enough and never will be good enough for Arsenal. The same goes for Emery. The sooner we’re rid of them both, the better. This club is becoming a by-word for mediocrity. If the board think that they can sweep this sort of shit under the carpet, they’re sadly mistaken. Unfortunately I fear it will take until the New Year when we’ll probably be rubbing shoulders with the bottom of the table and resigned to losing our top strikers – in other words too late to stop the rot and salvage the season… Read more »