Hector Bellerin has called for unity at Arsenal after captain Granit Xhaka swore at supporters during Sunday’s Premier League draw with Crystal Palace. However, the manager Unai Emery has remained tight lipped on his future.
The manager confirmed Xhaka will not travel as part of the squad to face Liverpool in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night – insisting that decision had been taken before Sunday’s antics
The 27-year-old was jeered as he was substituted off in the 2-2 draw and responded by waving his arms, cupping his ears and mouthing “f**k off” before refusing to shake manager Unai Emery’s hand and taking off his shirt as he headed straight down the tunnel.
the Spanish full-back took to Twitter on Monday morning to ask for everyone involved with the club to pull in the right direction.
“We are all humans, we all have emotions, and sometimes it’s not easy dealing with them. It’s time to lift each other up, not to push each other away. We only win when we are together,” he wrote.
Speculation was rife as to whether Xhaka would lose the armband as a result of the incident but, despite speaking to the player on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, Emery would not be drawn on if a decision had been taken and instead focused on the well-being of his skipper.
Emery refused to be drawn on whether Xhaka had been fined or would face other internal disciplinary action but did say he felt the Switzerland international should offer an apology for his actions.
Emery said: “At the moment, I am not speaking and I don’t want to speak about that. The first is for him to recover,” the Gunners’ head coach replied when asked if Xhaka would remain as captain.
“Now he is upset, devastated and sad. It is not only yesterday and today. He is feeling the supporters don’t like him.
“We spoke yesterday and on Sunday night and also spoke this morning.
“He trained as normal with the group but he is devastated and he is sad about the situation.
“His commitment with the club is a great commitment every time. He wants to help.
“His behaviour was perfect in training, with the group and with the club. He knows he was wrong.
“He was wrong and he feels it inside very deeply. But that is normal as a human. You need – and every player needs – the supporters’ support.”
Emery has incredibly hinted he could name Mesut Ozil as CAPTAIN for the Carabao Cup clash against Liverpool.
The manager was asked, with Xhaka not part of the party, whether Ozil could get the armband.
The Spaniard replied: “It depends. He could be yes.”
When is it on and what channel
Liverpool vs Arsenal in the Carabao Cup fourth round will take place on Wednesday, October 30. It will kick off at 7.30pm. It will be shown live on Sky Sports Football, with coverage underway from 7pm.