Old one Arsenal captain Xhaka granite came out of the dressing room at St James’ Park and produced a rather remarkable post-match interview following the club’s disappointing 2-0 loss to Newcastle.
For starters, the Gunners will want to forget about Monday’s game in a hurry. They were second best for Newcastle in fine form when an own goal from Ben White put them 1-0 up before Bruno Guimarães put the game to bed.
North London rivals Tottenham, who are two points clear of Arsenal with one game to go, are now on pole position to finish in important fourth.
After the full-time whistle, a furious Granit Xhaka claimed his team did not deserve to play in the Champions League or Europa League next season in a scathing assessment of their mediocre performance against the Magpies.
He accused his teammates of lacking “balls to play” before suggesting that Arsenal’s locker room ignored Mikel Arteta’s instructions.
You can see this remarkable post-game interview below.
“If anyone is not ready for this game, stay home”
Granit Xhaka says Arsenal players didn’t deserve to be on the field today 😓 pic.twitter.com/OdC37x3TAG
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 16, 2022
Xhaka began: “It’s hard to find the right words. From the first minute to the 90’s, we didn’t deserve to be on the pitch.
“I can’t explain why. We didn’t make the game plan, we didn’t listen to the coach. What happened was a disastrous performance. You don’t deserve to play in the Champions League or even the Europa League.
“It’s very difficult to accept that right now. I don’t know why we’re not doing what the coach is asking 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 bench or stay at home. You need people to have the courage to come here and play. It’s one of the most important games for us.
“We are very disappointed by the people who came here. [fans]I have no other words.
“The dressing room is very quiet. The game plan was totally different from what we did for the 90 minutes. We’ve been waiting for six years. We had everything in our hands. It felt like we were in the position Newcastle are in and they were where we are.”
In another post-match interview with the BBC, a furious Xhaka once again mentioned the fact that some of his teammates took Arteta’s instructions.
“We wanted to make a great game, but that 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 thing, it doesn’t work.
“People always talk about leaders. We’re not playing tennis, we’re playing football. If someone isn’t prepared for that pressure, stay home. You can’t come here and play like this. We were really bad today. The game plan was totally different, we play a totally different game.
“They ran us over from the first minute at 96. When 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 like we can’t do anything against the pressure. .”
Xhaka’s controversial interview certainly got people talking. At the Monday Night Football studio, both Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher analyzed their comments.
In fact, Neville called him a “disgrace” after the comments.
“I think I heard him say, ‘Stay home if you don’t have the guts.’ So obviously he is attacking people in his dressing room,” said the former Manchester United defender.
“I don’t know who he’s trying with, I hope he’s not trying with the younger players…he?
“I tell you what an embarrassment he’s been at times for the past four or five years, being recklessly expelled. He left it hanging there, there was nothing there.”
Thoughts on Xhaka’s interview?
Let us know in the comments.