Saturday, May 25, 2024

Xhaka stripped of captaincy, Aubameyang takes over

A full eight days after the incident against Crystal Palace, Unai Emery has announced that Granit Xhaka is no longer Arsenal captain, nor part of the captaincy group.

The Swiss international reacted to his substitution being cheered by goading the crowd, cupping his ear, and mouthing obscenities as he walked off the pitch.

Four days later he issued a statement via his own Instagram account which was less than a full-on apology, but until now there’s been no further comment from the club.

The situation has taken too long to resolve, and while on a human level we can all understand reacting the way he did, it was not the behaviour you expect from the captain and the removal of the armband was inevitable.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is now the official club captain, while Xhaka is said to have ‘accepted’ the decision.

The midfielder is not in the squad for tomorrow’s trip to Vitoria – full list here – and it remains to be seen what the future holds for him.

He is a player that Unai Emery likes, and with a must win game against Leicester at the weekend, it will be interesting to see if the fact he’s no longer captain opens the door for a return to on-pitch action.

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Gone in the summer/January?


Xhak’out, Ndid’in…


Looks quality actually, as many of Leicester’s players do

Pat Rice and Beans

Hope so.
Almost 3 years in the team and still can’t remove the flaws of his game. And he could generate a sizeable income.
Personally I think he’s not bad, just not suitable to PL. Maybe he could succeed in Série A where they favours Pirlo-esquee (God forgive me) players.


Yeah, he is what he is at this point–clearly not changing, and he’ll only get slower as he ages–but he’s not a bad player. Part of the problem is that Emery’s use of Xhaka is about as bad as can be–used in a way that doesn’t accentuate his positives as a footballer, yet also exacerbates his shortcomings! And still, Emery persists.

The Arsenal

He was Shite under Wenger. And plays for the Swiss simply because they have nobody better in his position. Hes not good enough for Arsenal simple as.


He eventually found a way to use him towards the end of his last season, playing behind Ramsey and Wilshere in a midfield 3 in our run to the EL semi-finals. But he rarely used them together in Premierleague, knowing full-well how fragile both Ramsey and Wilshere were/are…


What are xhaka’s qualities .. and before you mention passing there are several players in the arsenal team with better stats , so again I ask you what are his qualities ?


Great attitude, never gives in Combative Great engine Fantastic shot (hugely under-utilised) Range of passing is of course one but we cannot count that apparently. Bloke isn’t useless, nor do I think he’s ‘not good enough’ for us myself.. nor do I personally think he’s not suited to the Premier League. I do feel we have not used him particularly well but I also feel he’s failed to adapt to a new role. He clearly hates facing his own goal, and both Wenger and Emery have both put him in that position, but at the same time he has not… Read more »


Yep not a bad player but not working out for us


3 years and we still dont know what he does. Aside from the odd shot from outside the box, and a long pass from deep, what does he do?


He is a metronome. High pass volume, deep lying playmaker. Unfortunately this type of player typically struggles in the premier league because they don’t get the time they would like to take multiple touches. I think that’s why he struggles here, watch games of him where he’s left alone or given space – he is instrumental. But teams are too smart for that now and press him which makes his passing a hindrance (sideways/backward) instead of the weapon it can be. I always liked the player, and I was really excited when we signed him but it’s looking like the… Read more »


He is ill deciplined that’s my biggest issue with him. Stupid fouls he makes and stupid bookings he gets and stupid penalties he concedes. No single player in the entire premier league has cost his team more points than xhaka. Let that sink in. In the entire league! That’s insane. And we claim to be a team with ambition yet we have players like xhaka. If that’s not counter productive I don’t know what is.


i seem to remember xabi alonso doing pretty well in the PL? xhaka is a lovely passer of the ball and is an excellent quarterback who can pass and move all day but he has been unable to cut the stupid mistakes and lack of discipline from his game. best for all concerned if he moves on asap and we can hopefully re-invest the money in a quality addition to our midfield. not sure ceballos is the answer and hope at this stage we don’t pull the trigger on signing him permanently…

Prince Gunneralaysia

Passing sideways or backwards

Sagebrush Farm


Thierry Bergkamp

Gave you a thumbs down for thinking he’s anything similar to Pirlo


Okay now surely have a captain we can all get behind apart from the idiots around his car the last day.


Well he’s a guaranteed starter, arguably our best player

Martinellis belly

Don’t worry about them. They are known autograph scammers. The players and the club know and avoid them. They are not fans.

Reality check

Feel a bit sorry for him tbh but right or wrong, you just don’t phuk with the fans. Not that I condone the stupidity by some so called fans, but there are certain lines you just don’t cross.

Teryima Adi

Fans power you would say. The fans should be respected and the players, too. The boos were uncalled for. Xhaka would come out stronger out of this. He seems like a strong lad, just that he flipped his lid the other day which can happen to anybody. But he crossed the line by goading the fans. He really shouldn’t have done that.


Looks like it could be over for him at the Arse. Everton, West Ham do your thing.


This is the most positive thing to happen in the last few weeks. I feel for Xhaka, but Auba should have been made captain in the first place!

David C

Wow, Emery made a decision or was it the higher powers?

Thierry Bergkamp

It was a group vote

Naked Cygan

Now the group should meet and vote to sack Mr. Good Ebening!

Naked Cygan

He must get the sack after we go up our next game. We have faced the most shots in the league, and our keeper has made the most saves. Not the stats accosiated with this club. We need to stop the damage and sack him.


If it’s another 9-0 he might …


not if we win 9-0!

Cultured determination

Yup. Sack him once we are 1-0 against leicester and appoint fressie as manager. We might hold on to the lead that way

Magic City Gooner

A decision was made and an action was taken. Hallelujah.


edu throwing shade


A sad day for him but i hope and believe he can bounce back. Hes a good decent guy and we all make mistakes


Sorry to disagree but I don’t think he’s good enough…


Whether at arsenal or somewhere else


I just think its a moment for sympathy for someone who is a good person, made mistakes with some mitigating circumstances, and has paid dearly for it. I hope its not too traumatic for him and even if its not at arsenal, i hope he bounces back and learns. I thibk we should talk about his well documented football limitations another time

DB10s Air Miles

Fair play mate. Not sure why so many people feel they deserve a personal apology when our fans have treated him disgracefully. Let’s not pretend it was an isolated incident….. even disregarding social media vitriol this had been brewing for weeks. it wasn’t the first time he’d been booed or ironically cheered when he’d been subbed and for what? Because the manager picked him to play and made him skipper when the fans(myself included)didn’t think he was good enough? I don’t think he behaved as a club captain should but I can understand it as I was disgusted by the… Read more »


Spot on DB10.. I don’t need an apology from him either. Agree with everything up to the Mourinho comment. Appointing him would be the end of Arsenal as we know it and a death sentence for half of our promising youngsters

DB10s Air Miles

Mate….. I will honestly stop watching if they appoint him. I was just making a point about how classless some sections of our fanbase are.


Yeah I see what you mean… those classless fans are probably the same who want Mourinho in anyway. Those who actually get behind the club/players are still out here (even if a shrinking number). We have a duty to carry the traditions and dignity of the club. Don’t give up yet!

DB10s Air Miles

I’m not ready to give up mate, I’ve supported this club for more than 30 years, just never known our supporters so ready to hound out managers and players before.


According to supporters at the game, when he was being subbed he threw the captain’s armband on the ground and refused to shake Lacas hand, this is (I think) when the sarcastic cheers turned to boos.


Don’t think Iain was referring to his footballing abilities.


Not sure why it needed to have taken this long – especially after the statement (non-apology) made it clear he wasn’t backing down. Hard to imagine he’ll be in the team next year.


Thinking about it, it’s likely that Xhaka has indicated he wants to leave – giving Emery no choice but to (belatedly) remove the armband.

Naked Cygan

If that’s the case then Christmas has come early. ??????????


Personally, I don’t think there’s anything good about this whole debacle.


It took as long as it took. I don’t get why everyone wants things done instantly without actually thinking about the consequences of the actions taken.

Doubtless the club wanted him to apologise but once it was clear that he had no intention of doing so, they took the next action. Also waiting to announce until today was probably better than announcing it a couple of days ago leaving the journos time to come up with all kinds of bizarre questions at the press conference.


I’m confused as to why arsenal fans are so convinced they deserved an apology, He’s was shown zero respect and gave zero back, seems fair to me? Bit of a non issue for me which has been blown out of proportion.


Some would not consider his statement an apology. So be it. Bigger issue is his continued use in the midfield. We need more help there, as he is not a solution but part of the problem. Sell in January if feasible, and bring in someone else.


Watch him tear it up at Real Madrid!

Naked Cygan

You mean tear up his shorts? The only way he will play for Madrid is on PlayStation or some other gaming consol.


Just hope this was a decision made by Unai or the board and not another vote among the players, that would ruin the wardrobe.


Meh, captaincy means nothing these days anyway. Would have given it to Lacazette though, he’s more vocal with the ref and more of a fighter than Aubameyang.


Surely this entire situation just proves the point that it is important.


This entire situation has been blown out of proportion by the media and bloggers. Everyone is just happy that Xhaka is out of the first 11, me too because I prefer Torreira and Guendouzi, but even without Xhaka against Wolves we were the same pedestrian Emery’s Arsenal.

Dave M

That’ll happen when you once again don’t play Torreira as DM…
I mean, what is the deal with that? The guy is an OUTSTANDING DM for Uruguay as he was with Samp, yet for Emery he’s…too small? or an attacking midfielder.
DM – Torreira
CM – Guendouzi
CAM – Willock, Ceballos, or Ozil
Why does it have to be so complicated!? Get it done!


Indeed. I heard it elsewhere that we have a Kama Sutra squad but a manager that only wants missionary. As for Xhaka, I think it’s gonna be a Mustafi situation all over again where we put him up for sale but nobody willing to pay serious cash so he ends up being a squad player for the cup games.


Nah I reckon he’s still valued similar to what we got him for (£32mil) .. He’s still the cap. of Switzerland and hasn’t done his reputation nearly as much damage as Mustafi has.

I can see an Italian club coming in for him or maybe a return to Germany. It’s a long road back for him in Arsenal’s red and white.



Dave M

We’re all getting SO desperate…


Yep Guendouzi is doing terrific as an Arsenal starter. Thank god we removed Xhaka, the one and only problem in our mid.


Someone take a Fucking decision over Emery to please. It’s already too late


They already have apparently… allegedly he has the rest of November


Great, now get out


A starter as Captain…*Mindblown.

Danger of him seeking a transfer if this shitshow continues and to be honest I’d probably be happy for him.I want whats best for Arsenal but he fucking deserves better service and to spend his last years in a team that wins stuff…Or at the very least tries to win games vs the minnows of the league. Rant over over ..Congrats Auba.
Sorry Xhaka you just lost the keys.

Gavin Binding

Colour me stupid but I’ve come out of this with a great deal of sympathy for Xhaka. He is, of course, accountable for his own actions. On the other hand, if he ends up leaving under this cloud, it’ll paint a pretty sad picture of our club.


Me as well. The handling of the Captain election was ridiculous. I was expecting Xhaka to get it the day Kos was transferred if no earlier. But this may be for the best.


I don’t think Emery or Xhaka handled this whole thing well by any stretch but I’ve gotta say I think the party that comes out of it looking worst are the fans. Who can blame Xhaka for reacting the way he did if the shocking abuse he’s allegedly been subjected to is even remotely true. Threats to him and his family for let’s be honest, doing his job the best he can, which admittedly isn’t at a high enough standard. I used to think we were a pretty classy bunch as far as football fans went but looking at how… Read more »


Welcome to the internet, where people can say things and never be held accountable. I’m sorry but those comments Xhaka received could have been from ANYONE or ANYTHING. there’s many reasons and possibilities. bots, faceless profiles with no followers or posts, rival fans stirring the pot…its all possible and its all BS. He can allege what he wishes (didn’t produce evidence) but he should know better than to use faceless messages from faceless profiles online as a basis to be annoyed at fans wanting him subbed for being not good enough to boo’s for walking off when its 1-1. His… Read more »

Martinellis belly

This narrative is so false. Evey big club’s fanbase reacts the same way when they see their club are being mismanaged into decline. They rise up and make their voices heard to try and stop the rot and force the board to make change. Chelsea, United and Liverpool have all done the same in recent years, booing players, protesting and driving managers out. The social media abuse is sick but its a tiny minority of trolls which again every club has their share. Historically we have one of the least abusive, violent or racist fanbases in the country. On another… Read more »


Historically I agree about the fanbase, I’m talking about the last 5 years or so. And I wouldn’t say it’s the media convincing me of anything, it’s fairly plain to see and hear at every home game without fail, when not everything goes our way the atmosphere dies/turns sour pretty quickly. I agree about a tiny minority of fans (and even possibly not even Arsenal fans) being responsible for the personal abuse, I just meant that regardless of the source/amount of abuse, it’s understandable having that aimed at you could tip a guy over the edge and make him act… Read more »


Yeah let’s not throw a shoulder patting ourselves on the back for being like Chelsea and ManU fans.


Should have been Auba in the first place. Maybe this means Xhaka won’t automatically be on the team sheet anymore which is only going to be a good thing for us.

Medium Mozart

He’s far from being my favourite player, and I hope there can now be a swift and painless parting of the ways, but I genuinely hope Xhaka can find a club better suited to him and not only resurrect his career, but have a bloody great time doing so.

Good luck Auba! Had my doubts when we signed you, but I’ve loved being proven wrong.


Probably not the correct place for this, but it’s been on my mind all season… Has anyone discussed the fact that we mortgaged the future in order to make the Champions League this year and the ramifications that would happen if we don’t? By that I mean that we’ve deferred significant portions of our spending this summer to future summers (e.g. Pepe) with the hopes that we’ll have Champions League money to cover it. So not only will we lose our two best players (Auba and Laca) since they won’t be around for another year of the Europa League, but… Read more »


If Auba and or Laca leaves then they will bring a few bucks too, however finding decent replacement won’t be easy nor cheap for the reasons you list. Are we really sure that we have borrowed from the future? I’ve seen these speculations, however I haven’t seen any offical announcement on it.

Medium Mozart

I agree to a point. However I think the signings of Saliba and Martinelli are kind of insurance polices to cover for missing out on CL next season.


We haven’t mortgaged the future. With outgoings and just a down payment for Pepe our net spend last summer wasn’t much comparatively.


I certainly can understand the concerns, but I don’t think it’s as dire as the picture painted here. The core of the squad is quite young, talented, and likely not leaving. Losing Auba or Laca would hurt, but as long as we keep one, there would be Nketiah and Martinelli to deputize–and the money from a sale could be reinvested into the one area of the squad that will really need it next year: the midfield, specifically centrally. I really do believe that with addition of one really skilled box-to-box type midfielder, and the promise of health and freshness come… Read more »

SB Still

The way this has happened is sad.

A series of mistakes by the manager making him captain, having the players vote, picking Xhaka every match even it was clear it wasn’t working.

Xhaka has paid the price for his bad performance, when will Emery?


Well said!

Dave M

You forgot to mention the decision to pick Emery as manager in the first place…it definitely belongs in that long series of mistakes

Norn Iron Gooner

The End.


What kind of club names a captain and strips him a couple weeks later? That’s the issue, Xhaka or not Xhaka.


Any club with respect for it self would do that if what the captain did was of severe character. The question is how bad was Xhakas reactions? Was it possible for him to continue? I don’t know.


Just think of how it looks from the outside. Took too long to name him, stripped right away. Regardless of right or wrong, we look like a clown car. And probably are one right now.


Surely the new manager should be picking the new captain?


Lol… Emery has hidden under the shadow of this unfortunate event long enough and as far as I’m concerned Emery is the real issue. It’s time he paid for his own role in this.


Next strip Emery of coach title please.

Make Arsenal Great Again

As a football player, he has his limitations but I don’t wish this on anyone. He is being demoted and humiliated in public. I hope he is emotionally strong because this will challenge anyone.

Q3 Technique

Throwing the captain’s armband, trudging off the field like a sulking brat, swearing at a section of fans, throwing his shirt off and marching down the tunnel while storming past his manager….. he humiliated himself in public and is reaping what he has sown


The so called fans who booed him hardly covered themselves in glory. In fact they were the ones who caused it. He was well within his right to react to that bullshit.


React, yes. Implode? Sure, at his own peril.


Some of the crowd gave him shit and he handed some back. I’m all for it. More pricks who act like that need confronting.


Good decision. It was what needed to be done. I love Auba but there are rumours that he’s not keen to sign a new contract and could be gone in the summer if we don’t make the Champions League. It would be nice to have a captain who sticks around for a while. In my mind, Hector could have been that guy. But I’m fully behind Auba and now we just have to make sure we make the top 4 so he stays long-term.

SLC Gooner

Did anyone see that bus that just rolled over Xhaka? Hard to escape the thought that he was thrown under it due to mismanagement by Emery. Obviously Xhaka didn’t help matters with his response the other day, but the issues were having are not mostly due to Xhaka, or to Mustafi, or even both of them combined. If the leadership thinks they are going to fix this by dropping or selling Xhaka, they are mistaken. He may not be good enough to start for Arsenal as DM, but he’s not a terrible player. The real problem is the clueless manager,… Read more »

A Gorilla

Honestly hope he puts this behind him and helps arsenal reach CL under a new manager who plays him to his strengths and when needed.


I remember one of my earliest management experiences, I was still a kid. I had developed a team of 9 guys. We kicked ass and took names, were highly productive and a very tight group. Our business was seasonal. As the slow season approached I was trying to keep all 5 part time guys employed but this resulted in them all losing hours, too many hours lost created tension. The youngest guy was also one of the newest and was on the fringes a bit as far as fully being welcomed and accepted into the group. He was just slightly… Read more »


The Arsenal fans must accept responsibility for finding a way to support the team and players on game day, no matter what. If after that, after the game is done, they wish to criticize management, do it. Find a creative way….fly a banner from a plane, sing a respectful but pointed song after players have left the field, hang banners in the stadium then, email campaign, enter 10 min late…. Whatever it is, make sure any player would jump at the chance to play for the Arsenal fans no matter how frustrated they, the fans, are with results. Blogs, you… Read more »


this blog has changed so much, used to be very positive, Just becoming more and more snide, spreading out from all main arsenal media lately, sad to see. Easy clicks i suppose, Pity.


I reckon Auba will make a great Captain.

Popular in the dressing room, but I’d say quick enough to criticize players if things aren’t going great and loved by the fans.

Right age for it too.

Ukwa obuba

Excellent! Sends signal to the young players. Arsenal is not only a big club; It’s a ‘tradition’.


We all know how it ends with our captains, I hope we’re not losing Auba soon.

Jenny Redman

Just sick of what’s going on at my beloved club


8 days to make a decision…I wonder if he held a vote amongst the players?


he’s not a bad player. he just isn’t what is needed.


If Auba contract is up in 2021, is Laca up at similar time? Will we end up with another Ozil/Sanchez contract issue. Where they combined to give us a headache, or do we trust Josh/Edu to hold their nerve rather than do a Gazidis?


Even bloggs is turning snide, “a full eight days” .. yes Andrew how dare he take his time over an important decision….


Aubameyang should have been the captain to begin with.

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