‘If one day the club asks me about the armband, I have to think twice’: Granit Xhaka opens up about captaincy controversy after fearing his Arsenal future was over following furious spat with supporters
- Granit Xhaka’s Arsenal career seemed dead and buried back in October
- He had a furious spat with fans after being subbed off against Crystal Palace
- After being jeered off, Xhaka reacted and told Arsenal supporters to ‘f*** off’
- However, he has bounced back ever so professionally under Mikel Arteta
Granit Xhaka has admitted he would have to ‘think twice’ about taking the Arsenal captaincy again after going through the toughest period of his career following his furious spat with supporters.
The Switzerland international was relinquished off his captaincy duties by then manager Unai Emery back in October after clashing with his own fans during the 2-2 home draw against Crystal Palace.
Arsenal fans jeered Xhaka off the pitch after he was substituted by Emery at the Emirates, before the midfielder reacted and told the club’s supporters to ‘f*** off’ in the wake of him and his family receiving disgusting abuse online.
Granit Xhaka has bounced back in style under Mikel Arteta after his Arsenal future looked over
His career in north London seemed dead and buried but he has bounced back ever so professionally under Mikel Arteta and has been one of Arsenal’s most impressive performers in recent times.
Xhaka has become a mainstay under Arsenal’s new Spanish manager but four months ago, he feared his time with the Gunners was over.
When quizzed by Standard Sport if he feared he had played his last match for the club, Xhaka replied: ‘Of course, I don’t lie. There was a moment, because it was not easy for me and my family. I hope people understand this.
‘But I think I showed my character. I am not a guy who runs away. I always say to the club, “When I [am] here, I am ready to give everything”.
‘It was like this always. I train very hard and that things turned around is the key. This [has given me] the most happiness.’
Xhaka had a furious spat with fans after they jeered him off against Crystal Palace in October
Xhaka became an easy target for Arsenal fans during the end of Emery’s reign and it reached boiling point against Palace at the Emirates.
Whether he would ever become captain again at Arsenal remains to be seen but he has since admitted it would certainly not be an easy decision to make if Arteta rewarded him with the armband.
The 27-year-old briefly wore the captain’s armband during the 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace in January but he has revealed he was hesitant to take it then.
‘I know with or without the armband what I can give the team,’ he said. ‘But in this moment [against Palace] I don’t want to take the armband back, but Sokratis [Papastathopoulos] and David [Luiz] told me I have to take it.
‘If one day the club asks me about the armband, I have to think twice.’
The midfielder takes the captain’s armband during the 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park in January
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