Former Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka walked out of the dressing room at St James’ Park and produced a remarkable post-match interview following the club’s disappointing 2-0 defeat to Newcastle†
For starters, the Gunners will want to quickly forget Monday’s game. They were second best to keep Newcastle in shape as an own goal from Ben White put them 1-0 behind before Bruno Guimaraes put the game to bed.
North London rivals Tottenham, who are two points clear of Arsenal with one game to go, are now in pole position to finish in that all-important fourth position.
After the full-time whistle, an enraged Granit Xhaka claimed his side don’t deserve to play in the Champions League or Europa League next season in a scathing assessment of their lackluster performance against the Magpies.
He accused his team-mates of not having “balls to play” before suggesting that Arsenal’s dressing room ignored Mikel Arteta’s instructions.
You can watch that remarkable post-game interview below.
‘If someone is not ready for this game, stay home’
Granit Xhaka says Arsenal players didn’t deserve to be on the pitch today pic.twitter.com/OdC37x3TAG
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 16, 2022
Xhaka started: “It’s hard to find the right words. From the first minute to the 90th, we didn’t deserve to be on the pitch.
“I can’t explain why. We didn’t do what the game plan was, didn’t listen to the coach. What happened was a disastrous performance. You don’t deserve to play Champions League or even Europa League.”
“It’s very difficult to accept it at the moment. I don’t know why we don’t do what the coach asks of us.”
When asked if inexperience was an issue during the Premier League clash at St James’ Park, Xhaka replied: “If anyone is not ready for this game, stay home.
He added. “It doesn’t matter how old you are. If you’re nervous, stay on the couch or stay at home. You need people who have the balls to come here and play. It’s one of the most important games for us.”
“We feel very disappointed for the people who have come here. Sorry for them [fans]I have no other words.
“The dressing room is very quiet. The game plan was completely different from what we did in 90 minutes. We wait six years. We had everything in our hands. We looked like we were in the position where Newcastle is and they were where we are. “
In another interview with the BBC after the match, an enraged Xhaka again mentioned the fact that some of his teammates had given Arteta’s instructions.
“We wanted to play a big game, but it didn’t happen,” he said. “It’s so hard to find the right words. If you don’t listen to the coach and do your own things, it won’t work.
“People are always talking about leaders. We’re not playing tennis, we’re playing football. If someone isn’t ready for this pressure, stay home. You can’t come here and play like this. We looked really bad today .” The game plan was totally different, we played a totally different game.
“They persuaded us from the first minute to the 96th. If you play like that, you don’t deserve to play in the Champions League. The problem is the pressure. If you can’t handle the pressure, it ends like today. It seems that we can’t do anything against the pressure.”
Xhaka’s controversial interview certainly got people talking. In the Monday Night Football studio, both Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher analyzed his comments.
Neville even called him a “disgrace” after the comments.
“I think I heard him say ‘stay home if you don’t have the balls’. So he’s clearly busy with people in his dressing room,” said the former Manchester United full-back.
“I don’t know who he’s talking to, I hope he’s not talking to the younger players…he?
“I tell you what he’s been in the last four or five years at times, being a disgrace, being driven away recklessly. He left it up there in the air, there was nothing there.”
Thoughts on Xhaka’s interview?
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