Arteta plays down Xhaka’s controversial on-pitch display

Granit Xhaka was seen to refuse to accept the captain’s armband during Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Brentford today, and the manager has played down the incident.

The Swiss midfielder was the captain from kick-off in the reverse fixture, with both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette absent with illness. The Frenchman has since been promoted as the captain of the side, and when Eddie Nketiah was tasked with passing the armband on, Xhaka was seen to refuse.

It caused quite the stir for the fans to witness this, with the young English forward then seen to be confused before deciding to pass it onto Kieran Tierney instead.

While Piers Morgan blamed the lack of real leadership within the squad for the incident, some of us (myself included) may well have been feeling disrespected by his actions, and Arteta moved to downplay the incident.

When asked why Xhaka had refused to take the armband, to which the Metro quotes him as explaining: ‘Because it was for Kieran. Kieran was the next in line and that’s the reason why.’

Probed further on whether Nketiah was given the wrong instruction, Arteta added: ‘Maybe Eddie didn’t pick it up and Granit told him he should have to give it to Kieran. That’s it.’

I’m really in two minds as to how to feel about this. On one hand it felt disrespectful to reject the armband, but at the same time, it could simply be down to the new hierarchy of leadership.

Those who saw the incident, do you believe it is being blown out of proportion?


WATCH Arteta’s FULL press conference after Brentford win..

Tags Granit Xhaka Mikel Arteta


  1. Ok, if Xhaka knew it was for Tierney, why didnt he just take the band and give it to him. Im not buying it, xhakas actions were very strange and dismissive anyway.

  2. Xahka just waved Nketiah away and certainly not in the direction of Tierny. As Reggie said Xahka was very dismissive. Lacazette I also thought didn’t know who to pass it to either.

  3. It’s a clear indication that xhaka would leave come end of the season.. Though I felt he disrespected the club… Kt our captain next season

  4. Why wouldn’t he refuse it? He has a painful history with it… his own fans would’ve crucified him on SM by now had he taken it… the man had a good game.. he literally wanted to have a happy sleep after his solid performance.. and not nightmares of being attacked for wearing the captaincy armband.

  5. Great one from Xhaka.. Good game. As long as they keep winning, who wears the armband doesn’t matter.. This is no news

    1. Exactly, this shouldn’t overshadow a good display by the lads…most of us will act d same way he did, he was unceremoniously stripped off the armband few seasons ago and isn’t in the new hierarchy, so why take it??…

      As arteta said, Eddie didn’t pick it up..

      I d prefer ramsdale as captain though, since he’s ever present and really vocal on d pitch as well

  6. Can you people make up your minds?
    You don’t like Xhaka on a personal level. You have been attacking everyone that suggest him being captain etc for seasons now.
    You think Xhaka and his people don’t read social media comments about him now and then? He knows that the majority of our fanbase despises him. Why should he accept the armband when most of the fans have made it clear he should never be anywhere near it?

    Make up your minds. You don’t want him anywhere near that armband or you do?

    I say let him just be a normal team player with no more responsibilities until he is sold in the summer. If he had accepted that armband I guarantee you some people would have blamed fir the goal Brentford scored. “It’s xhaka’s lack of leadership quality is why we conceded that goal”. 😊

    I say leave the guy out of this Captain armband stuff. Most are always just waiting for any little opportunity to moan and whine about him.

    1. well said! I personally think it was a misunderstanding and was supposed to go to Tierney, but in the meantime, xhaka wouldn’t anything to do with it!

    2. As for your last true sentence, I dont suppose by any chance you have ever asked yourself WHY so many “moan and whine about him”!!

      It couldn t be(he asked ironically, that we are all RIGHT about him , could it???!

  7. Agreed I think Xhaka needs to have less distractions. Its a fact the we generally are a better team with him. If a scout came to me and said I’ve found a player who plays exactly like Xhaka minus the brain farts and has alot more pace I’d be happy to sign him up.

    He’s not a bad player he’s never been upto the pace of the premier League. Additionally he never gets a break from referees that other players do

  8. But what are you trying to insinuate. The manager has given his comment and you want to add your opinion then you want ours too, please lets not destroy our team with silly comments. We are building a team lets all support our own . Much us your entitled to your opinion, I do think arsenal has enough advisers

  9. Good job Xhaka, I’ll probably tell everyone else questioning him for rejecting it to fùck off.
    He wears the armband, it’s a problem for people, he refuses to wear it, it’s a problem for people.
    Fans who are also social media bullies are one of the reasons he had every right to reject it.
    Finding the fact he rejected it disrespectful stinks of hypocrisy.

  10. I guess Kieran Tierney is gonna be our new captain come next season.
    Xhaka’s approach to this matter was wrong. His attitude is the reason why this is looking like a big deal.
    He should have done better.

    1. You was one of people who blew it out of all proportion with your original article by not getting facts before posting. Nothing to see here, please move on!

      1. Once beaten, twice shy. He had a bad record about the armband. He was once a captain before he was stripped off it. I don’t blame him

  11. The right question we should be asking is, why did Lacazette offer the band to Nketiah? He even opened it and tried putting it on Nketiah’s arm if not that the young man was smart enough to reject it. Or am I the only one who saw this?

  12. Xhaka is the main reason arsenal are winning, respect every decission he made with the armbard.
    I just love watching him play.

  13. I will do the same if I am Xhaka. Who want to play a second fiddle? If he’s not good as the captain, he shouldn’t be good as the assistant.
    Why give him the armband when you criticised and removed him as a captain just recently?

  14. Xhaka does not care for Arsenal, that’s why he commits angry, thuggish fouls. From the day he cost us 4th Place with Emery, by giving away his ‘psycho penalty’ against Brighton. He costs us about 6 points a season single handedly. What’s the point of putting your enemy in your own team. Insane.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors