English Premier League: Arsenal's Granit Xhaka out of Wolves tie over fan feud
Xhaka has faced calls to be stripped of the Arsenal captaincy and he was left out for Wednesday's League Cup defeat at Liverpool after Gunners boss Emery admitted his reaction was wrong
London: Unai Emery has confirmed Granit Xhaka will miss Arsenal's clash with Wolves on Saturday as the Swiss midfielder's fan feud rumbles on. Xhaka appeared to swear at Arsenal supporters after his second half substitution prompted sarcastic cheers and booing during Sunday's 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace. The 27-year-old cupped his ears, waved his arms angrily and ripped off his shirt before storming down the tunnel.
Xhaka has faced calls to be stripped of the Arsenal captaincy and he was left out for Wednesday's League Cup defeat at Liverpool after Gunners boss Emery admitted his reaction was wrong. Xhaka, who was also booed against Aston Villa earlier this season, revealed on Thursday he reached boiling point following a series of sick taunts toward him and his family via social media.
With Wolves visiting the Emirates Stadium this weekend, it is possible Xhaka would have endured more abuse after the statement offered only a faint apology for his actions. Emery has again decided it is better to take Xhaka out of the firing line to stop the controversy distracting his players in an important Premier League fixture.
"He said sorry, he gave the apologies to the supporters, to everybody and now the focus is for tomorrow's match," Emery told reporters on Friday. "It is not in my mind that he is going play tomorrow. I am thinking tomorrow he is not going to play because I think now we need also to be focused only 100 per cent on the match." Xhaka was already a disliked figure among many Arsenal fans after lacklustre displays since his 2016 arrival from Borussia Moenchengladbach.
His failure to block the cross that led to Palace's equalising goal on Sunday was the final straw for some at the Emirates as they vented their frustrations. A decision over the captaincy remains to be announced, although Xhaka is said to retain the backing of Arsenal's players, who voted him as skipper in pre-season.
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