Granit Xhaka faced a serious backlash following his extraordinary post-match rant following ’s defeat at Newcastle on Monday, but not from his teammates.
which appears to have cost the Gunners any hope of qualifying for next season’s .
Xhaka, an often divisive character, questioned the mentality of players who he claimed didn’t deserve to play in Europe’s elite club competition, if they were unable to handle the pressure of the must-win scenario they faced following an equally catastrophic defeat in the north derby.
He said: ‘What happened was a disaster performance. You don’t deserve to play Champions League or even to play .
‘If someone is not ready for this game, stay at home. It doesn’t matter their age, they can be 30, they can be 35, they can be 18, if you’re not ready for that, if you’re nervous, stay on the bench, stay at home, don’t come here.
‘We need people who have the balls.’
, while Arsenal legend .
Despite his pointed accusations, however, report that Xhaka faced no recriminations from the Arsenal dressing room who accepted that the former captain’s criticisms were not designed to single out any individual, while similar conversations were held in private after the game between the players.
Arsenal must now dust themselves off, beat struggling Everton at home and hope already relegated Norwich can beat Tottenham on Sunday.
‘Well now we have to swallow everything, digest it and tomorrow is another day,’ said Arteta when asked to assess the chances of sneaking into fourth place.
‘We will still have five days to prepare that match. We know what we have to do. There’s not a lot of words I think that are needed after the performance tonight.’
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