As a fan base we should be embarrassed by Granit Xhaka’s interview with Players Tribune.
The consensus in the Football community is the player has been brave to speak candidly about the abuse he has received from his own supporters. It’s uncomfortable to think of Gooners being associated like that. We were once the club known for always acting with class and doing things the right way.
Arsene Wenger warned in his final years that as a fanbase we were in danger of losing the proud values we were famous for.
Tony Adams, Ian Wright, Keown, Dixon, Henry, Viera, etc. I grew up with talent who spoke about the pride of representing the badge.
A generation now see players no longer with that pride to wear the shirt. Mustafi has spoken about how critics impacted his mental health, Sokratis, Guendouzi, Ozil and Auba will all not reflect fondly on their time in North London.
Here’s a 29-year-old now saying he’s ‘100 percent convinced’ that players are scared to make mistakes. That’s one of the few leaders in our dressing room admitting that!
Xhaka believed he had played his final game for the club in 2019 when he was subbed at home to Crystal Palace, the crowd’s reaction leading to our captain to throw the armband down and gesture to the stands.
As the Swiss alludes to; many people just go from game to game, result to result.
For many, it was simply a case of the team drawing at home 2-2 with Palace (ironically those same people probably this season celebrated that same result).
In reality, this was a young man who daily was receiving online threats, having death wished on his wife, prayers that his daughter got cancer.
That day, he couldn’t bottle up his feelings anymore.
His Dad was at the Emirates that afternoon. The same Father who told him not to give up in Switzerland and Germany, told him immediately it was time to leave England.
It’s embarrassing to hear teammates ring him or visit him, like it’s a us Vs them scenario.
Xhaka speaks about the backlash never being so intense in the other countries he played in.
It would be arrogant to say those watching the Bundesliga don’t care as much as viewers of the Premiership
The difference in the UK is the culture we have where grown men and women think that the confines of football allows you to act how you want.
Just look at the last Euros.
People have built YouTube channels by verbally abusing their own teams and encouraging others to join in.
It’s ironic that those who have taken offence to Xhaka’s truth, many are those who built views and subscriptions on being allowed to express their opinions, now they don’t like when it’s done back to them.
The host of AFTV think one idea is allow spectators to attend open training sessions and Q and A’s.
Of course, he does!
The reality is, that online platform has done more than any other to create an environment not friendly between fans and players.
If I were an Arsenal player, I wouldn’t want my fans watching me in practise.
To stress this isn’t about saying a player had a bad game or simply not rating them.
The subject himself says that he’s got no problem being judged purely on ability, no. Where the line is crossed is when family is being mentioned, your welfare is being discussed and your being sworn at every week.
My stance has always been an adult should be able to watch Sport without calling another human being the C word but that’s my education.
Xhaka says before he leaves, he wants to do something ‘special’ with the club. Having won two FA Cups he obviously doesn’t see that as ‘special’.
We are not lifting the Prem or Champions League in the next couple of years so unfortunately his legacy will be the breakdown in the relationship between Gunners and Gooners.
How it became fashionable for fans to swear at their own players, and it just be accepted.
That’s quite sad.
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