Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown said manager Unai Emery is partly responsible for Granit Xhaka’s clash with fans during his 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Xhaka raised her arms in the air and cupped her ears after boos greeted her replacement. As the noise around the Emirates intensified, Xhaka was seen shouting “f *** off” at the fans of the house and took off his shirt before breaking through the tunnel.
The club is now considering whether to strip Xhaka of the captaincy. Sunday was not the first time that his fans have booed Granit Xhaka,” Keown told the Daily Mail.
“It also happened on September 22, when Aston Villa visited him. Villa led 2-1 at that time, then Xhaka was replaced and serenaded by boos. Arsenal, despite having only ten men, won 3-2 without the midfielder. Then, five days later, Unai Emery appoints Xhaka as captain anyway.
“Emery is as guilty as anyone. If you let players choose their employer, it becomes a popularity contest, and that is not what leadership is all about. I never had a manager who decided the captaincy in that way, and, for me, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is still the safest bet.”