Arsenal have stripped Granit Xhaka of the captaincy, manager Unai Emery has confirmed.
Xhaka has not played for the club since an ugly altercation with fans during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace last month.
Unai Emery has confirmed that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is our new club captain.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) November 5, 2019
The Swiss international was jeered as he left the field, and reacted angrily, swearing at the Emirates crowd and storming straight down the tunnel.
He then missed the EFL Cup penalty shootout loss against Liverpool and Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Wolves.
Xhaka will also miss Arsenal’s Europa game on Wednesday as he didn’t travel with the squad and it marks the start of what will be a difficult period for the 27-year-old to earn a spot back in the Arsenal squad.
“The case is closed,” Emery insisted during his pre-match press conference.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang donned the skipper’s armband during the Premier League clash with Wolves and Emery confirmed the Gabon striker has now been appointed as Arsenal’s permanent club captain.
However, he will also miss the meeting with Vitoria, with Hector Bellerin likely to captain Arsenal in Portugal.
Club legend Charlie Nicholas did say that had Xhaka tossed the Arsenal shirt on the floor, he might never play for the club anymore and right now Xhaka has much to do to keep his influence in the dressing room intact.
In his absence, Aubameyang is expected to take over as team captain and it remains to be seen whether Emery’s verdict on Xhaka is a temporary one or a more long-term action.
Prior to the start of the season, Gunners were largely in conflict on Xhaka being appointed the club’s captain and his poor performances on the pitch only worsened the narrative for the Swiss international.
Perhaps some time out will give him much time to reflect and play with a clear head when he’s eventually slotted back into the team. On the flip side, it could be the beginning of further problems for Xhaka and a downhill turn in his relationship with both manager and fans alike.
However harsh it may seem, Xhaka wasn’t justified to do what he did in any way and Emery might have had no choice but the right decision has been made (at least for now).
Is Emery right to strip Xhaka off the armband?
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