Ian Wright: Granit Xhaka must apologise to Gunners’ supporters, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Ian Wright: Granit Xhaka must apologise to Gunners’ supporters

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has slammed Gunners captain Granit Xhaka, who goaded fans with his antics when he was taken off during their 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace yesterday morning (Singapore time).

When Xhaka was replaced by Bukayo Saka in the 61st minute, the skipper trudged slowly to the touchline while gesticulating to the fans who had cheered his substitution and were urging him to get off the pitch quicker.

The fans' frustration was expected as the Gunners had just blown a 2-0 lead.

Xhaka's meltdown climaxed when he ripped off his shirt, appeared to shout vulgarities at supporters and stormed past Unai Emery straight down the tunnel to more derision from the stands, reported AFP.

"I don't like any players getting booed," Wright said on BBC's Match of the Day.

"But this is the captain. Now I think that they're frustrated with the fact that he's not run off. He's now goading them...

"He should apologise - that's the captain. He should be apologising. He should have apologised already.

"That's not captain's behaviour. Arsenal fans have showed a lot of patience to him and the performances he's put in. He owes them a lot more and he's acted like that."

Emery refused to confirm if Xhaka will still be wearing the captain's armband, after admitting that the 27-year-old Swiss international was out of line.

"He was wrong. I want to be calm but, really, he was wrong in this action," Emery said.

"We are working with the players to play under pressure. In a difficult moment, you can be hot. You have to be clever.

"We play for the supporters. We need to have a lot of respect for them when they are applauding us and when they are criticising us."

Emery's frustration was clear after another difficult outing, following their shock 1-0 loss at Sheffield United last week.

The Spaniard was angry that VAR had denied Arsenal an 83rd-minute winner by Sokratis, only for the goal to be ruled out for Calum Chambers' foul on Luka Milivojevic.

VAR had also overturned referee Martin Atkinson's decision to turn down Palace's penalty appeal when Wilfried Zaha was booked for diving.

Milivojevic slotted in the penalty and Jordan Ayew bagged the equaliser as Palace recovered from early goals by Sokratis and David Luiz.

"You can speak about our performance but also the decisions of the referee and VAR," Emery said. "We scored a good goal. VAR said it is not. I checked after and it is a goal... If the referee watches it on TV, I'm sure he's not going to decide it's a foul."