Can we leave Xhaka alone to recover now please?

Xhaka AbusedIt’s time To Leave Xhaka Alone Now by Dan Smith

The moment I heard Arsenal have offered Xhaka counselling was the moment this stopped becoming a football debate. I feel the club have let this issue get out of hand, In essence it’s a grown man telling people swearing at him to f…….

The same would happen if you were sworn at in a pub or shop. Yet the fact Arsenal are going to the lengths of offering him professional help tells me this is more than someone momentarily losing his temper.

Emery mentioned the Swiss feeling ‘not liked’ and that would have been building over a period of time. We have seen video evidence of him stopping outside the Emirates to take pictures, only to be abused with his wife sat next to him. A quick look on his social media accounts show that he gets mocked daily.

Worse, a fan on Arsenal Fan TV at the weekend, admitting he knows the player watches the channel told him to f…….. What is worse is that when that platform was trying to grow it’s numbers, Xhaka happily took time out to talk to them, how many footballers would do that? Of course, no one said to his face what they really thought.
Watch it yourself, see the irony…

How you respond to this will reflect your opinion on depression, a topic which has made strides in terms of young men opening up when feeling distressed. The likes of Lennon and Rose were commended in the summer for speaking about their own mental health.

Now I’m not diagnosing anyone, the player might reject any help and be ordered to say sorry. Yet we have been told he is down and hurting and the fact we as fans have done that makes me feel uncomfortable. If we physically attacked him, we wouldn’t condone that, but why is it okay to mentally hurt a person?

If gooners didn’t know their words were having such an effect, they do now, yet let’s see how many think twice about doing it in future. Some will say the money he earns means this is part of the territory, others will say it sums up the squad’s mentality that our leader might need support.

Again, though you’re making it a footballing issue. If you don’t rate him, think he should be sold, that’s a healthy debate. To shout, swear and troll someone, I can see how that can affect a human being.

You might think it’s a trivial matter for any celebrity and that they should brush it off, but that’s the point of depression. What might not feel like a big deal to you could be to someone else, little things build up in your mind, the brain plays tricks. Xhaka might have something in his personality where he needs to be liked, he seeks that validation and no matter what he tries hate follows him around.

You can preach how he should deal with it but, lets be honest, how many of you are sworn at leaving your place of work being told how rubbish you are? How many of you have to read about it online?

The truth is you could be incompetent but it’s illegal for your boss to verbally abuse you, there are words he can’t say. So well done Arsenal FC for not ticking a PR box by saying sorry, but looking after one of your own first. It’s a shame us fans couldn’t do it, but I hope the dressing room know it’s the minority.

Who knows maybe when Auba and Lacca don’t sign new deals because they don’t want to play in such a toxic atmosphere, certain cowards will get it because they only see football?

I think it’s time to leave Xhaka alone now …. you made your point …….you shamed our club…

Dan Smith

52 Comments

  1. gazzap says:

    If he is struggling with depression then he should not be captain. If he gives up the captaincy he gets the fans behind him again simple as that and he can recover. He walks out on Saturday as captain and the fans will turn ugly again.

    1. Restless says:

      You could be in Xhaka’s shoes. Be reasonable. Football is not the most important thing in life. remember this: WORDS ARE LIKE WEAPONS AND THEY WOUND SOMETIMES!

    2. AB says:

      Were you among those that booed him

      1. Reggie says:

        Yes lets leave xhaka alone, give him time to recover and then see if we can sell him to a team at a level he can cope with better. He is out of his depth at arsenal and that has finally been shown to be the case. He needs to play at a level he can cope with and makes him happy.

        1. Timi says:

          ‘Under Unai Emery, Xhaka has played 50 times for Arsenal, winning just 26 of those matches – at a 52 per cent win-rate.
          ‘Without him, the Gunners have won 17 of their 22 games – boasting a far superior win percentage of 74.
          ‘Arsenal have also scored more with Xhaka off the pitch at 2.6 per game compared to 1.8 per game with him.
          ‘They’ve also conceded fewer, at 1.1 shipped per match as opposed to 1.3 with him in the team.’

      2. Steven says:

        I certainly didn’t boo Xhaka and I would never boo any of our players. Xhaka’s reaction was foolish but I don’t think his performance was particularly poor. It was Chambers who gave away the penalty and Luiz was caught ball watching when Sheffield United scored their The fans who booed him are probably the same ones who forced out Wenger. They were warned to be careful about what they wished for but they were too full of self importance to listen. And now we have got Emery, who is unable to create an attractive and consistent style of play,, these same fans, rather than blame themselves, prefer to pick on Xhaka.

  2. MadHatter says:

    Excellent post Dan 👏👏

  3. navite says:

    Blame Emery for always feeding him to the dogs even when he knows most fans aren’t happy with Xhaka always costing us points.

  4. Sue says:

    Depression is not something to be taken lightly… and no one knows what it’s like until they’ve been through it themselves.
    👍 Excellent, Dan!

  5. jon fox says:

    A world of difference between booing any player when not doing thE biz onfield and attacking his family with threats on social media which is unlawful and should be prosecuted. That being said, any player in a public platorm, indeed any TV ENTERTAINER OR PERSONALITY TOO, MUST BE STRONG ENOUGH TO ACCEPT PROPERLY MADE, IN CONTEXT TOO, VERBAL CRITICISM OR ONLINE OPINION BUT NEVER THREATS OR PERSONAL ABUSE. THERE IS A CLEAR DIVIDING LINE AND ALL NORMAL IQ people are VERY well aware of where that line is drawn.

    1. Gily says:

      Mr Jon Fox you’re very correct. A lot of us tend to confuse the two words, boo and abuse and invariably use them interchangeably, or put a wrong meaning to what another person has said.
      Like you clearly said, there is a world of difference between boos and abuse or personal threats as the case may be.

      1. Mwsupporter says:

        I am truly sickened that some supposed fans of our Great Club, should consider it appropriate to wish such disgusting things on an individual, wishing his wife death and his daughter cancer ….. really, it’s time to draw the line and tell these people what the majority of people think acceptable. Arsenal is really important to all of us, please don’t disrespect the club in this way, whatever you perceive to be his failings this is not acceptable.

      2. jon fox says:

        Gily, Regretfully you are in a minority, though a fairly sizable one, IMO, who sensibly accepts the proper use of our rich language. You can see the vital diffeecne between “criticism by booing” and “abuse by threats and unlawful activity”. Sadly, many and mostly younger fans BTW, are not able to see the difference. I believe this is mainly due to the general use of sloppy English that is so dominant in todays younger society. “Abuse” and “criticize” are two totally diffrent meanings from(not “to”) each other. As a language graduate, I constantly use our rich language to my fullest ability and try to educate some by pointing out to them the importance of using correct English. IT IS HOWEVER A THANKLESS AND LOSING BATTLE IN GENERAL.

    2. Kenny Rolfe says:

      After the VAR offical’s performance against Palace Jon, I was wondering, d’you still think they’re not crooked

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        Sorry, or bias

        1. Mwsupporter says:

          Kenny perhaps check the thread, this is a bit left field I would suggest.

          1. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Something between me and Jon, why you making yourself busy?

      2. jon fox says:

        No change in my consistent view that they are incompetent, though not corrupt Kenny. I suggest you go onto other clubs fan sites and see the constant paranoia that so many fans in general have that theiir own club is being picked on. If you truly want the truth – which I am unconvinced that you really do – then you would look at the wider picture from the persective of fans of a wide club spectrum. TRY IT AND THEN COME BACK TO ME WHEN YOU HAVE DONE SO. Prejudice is a common human fault, ,lessened by wide life experience and by looking at the wider picture.

    3. Edus and donts says:

      100%

  6. gotanidea says:

    Some Gooners are actually forgetful, so Xhaka would not get abused if he doesn’t play

    Some fans have forgotten Mustafi’s and Ozil’s underperformances in Wenger’s final seasons, therefore this will also apply to Xhaka

    However, Xhaka must be transfer-listed. Because he has tried his best, yet his best is not good enough

  7. Grandad says:

    I hope Xhaka is not suffering from depression as a consequence of the social media attacks from morons who purport to be Arsenal supporters.On behalf of all fair minded,rational fans I would like to apologize sincerely for the actions of this ignorant minority.I suspect Xhaka regrets his actions on Sunday but what saddens me is the failure of our “Club” to make an official statement concerning the matter.With respect to our Manager who is not yet fluent in our language surely someone further up the line should be handling this matter.

    1. Reggie says:

      Xhaka maybe depressed but he certainly hasn’t got depression and any hint he has is wrong and disrespectful to the people who have and suffer with the illness. His actions were wrong and if people are abusing his family so are they, total morons.

    2. jon fox says:

      On Emerys harmful lack of English , it is clear to me his poor English is one, among several other, reasons for his ideas clearly not getting through to our players. I rarely pick up more than the vague gist of what he says when interviewed and I have English as my first language. What chance do such as Kolas and Ozil have then? FLUENT COMMUNICATION IS VITAL AT EVERY TEAM TRAINING SESSION AND TALK, BUT THE REGIME SEEM NOT TO HAVE TAKEN ACCOUNT OF THIS WHEN APPOINTING EMERY. SIGH!

  8. Gily says:

    I am only concerned with what happened and happens on the field of play where it is not illegal to boo (not abuse) and cheer players based on the feelings of the spectators at various points in time. What happens in the field should end there and not be extended to somebody’s private life anywhere else. So that one I don’t support in any way.
    On the other hand, common sense is not so common and wisdom should tell any lone man not to challenge or contend with a mob unless he does not value his life. The spectators in the stadium are like a mob which only demands respect and cannot be reasoned with. Xhaka shouldn’t have done what he did and expect to come out the victor.

  9. CorporateMan says:

    I agree with the author of this post. Xhaka is just a victim of a frustrated fan base starved too long of something to cheer about. And so we snap at everyone and everything we consider a contributor to our woes
    And as we snap and snarl, we expect everyone and everything to understand and bear with us.
    It’s Xhaka today; I’m not sure it won’t be someone else’s turn tomorrow

  10. Innit says:

    This has been my major beef with Emery. He continues to start Xhaka. Torreira, Guendouzi and Ceballos should start over Xhaka.

    Xhaka is a great passer but overall very average.

    Mustafi is the same or even worse. Both need to be transfer listed

  11. Ba Elkhirsawy says:

    I mean really f… abusive fans, I am not pro starting Xhaka, and he is not the best midfield players. However, he is(one of ) the player(s) with largest number of games since he came, he took very few breaks.
    He had bright moments and games and other mistakes like many players, whom I have seen in Arsenal, but I am not defending his game, I defend him as human and as an Arsenal player. It impacts the club negatively, if fans keep attacking players, one after another.

  12. Maurice says:

    Bukayo Saka needs protection before fans start booing him too. Emery should give him time to recover

  13. Joseph says:

    Recover from what??
    Its like going AWOL when you Boss out of annoyance calls you d*ckhead in the office. Who’s gonna pay your salaries???

    1. Trudeau says:

      Interesting boss you got there Joseph. Bet he gets the most out if his team.

  14. “Emery mentioned the Swiss feeling ‘not liked’ and that would have been building over a period of time. We have seen video evidence of him stopping outside the Emirates to take pictures, only to be abused with his wife sat next to him”

    -I’ve followed the link. Context: Xhaka was driving out of the Emirates right after Man utd had knocked us out of the FA cup when an angry fan confronted him. He said, “Sometimes you are great sometimes you look like sh*t”. Another fan said, we love you Xhaka.

    1. Tony says:

      And based on your say. At times his shit days is greatly greater than his good days basically..

  15. Le Coq Monster says:

    Great article, Dan.

    I have ridiculed him(Xhaka)on here in what I think is in a lighthearted way( so hope he doesn`t read all arsenal) I dont rate him as a player who should be playing for our team, yet if I was at a match I would cheer him on as with all our players as I dont think any negativity has possitive outcomes at a live game, the only booing should be reserved for the opposition.

    On the outside he seems a very likeable person. I blame Emery to a large percent for feeding Xhaka to the wolves. Emery cannot be blind and dumb to the fans feelings about Xhaka as a player and yet still plays him.

    Being a rich footballer does not make Xhaka immune from depression, I hope he recovers his confidence, but I also hope he isn`t offered as a sacrifice at the altar of The Emirates by the unsympathetic empathicless and clueless manager.

    1. Sue says:

      For the opposition and the ref, Le Coq 😜
      Nice comment, btw and humourous, as always 😉😄

  16. Kenny Rolfe says:

    Get rid of the pair of them, Emery and Xhaka, both not good enough for a club of Arsenal’s stature. Xhaka shoukd have been sold after the foul on the Brighton player that cost us Champions League football and Emery, clueless, the worst manager since Billy Wright, conceding five goals to a Liverpool youth side just about summed him up tactically. I noticed now that Xhaka’s apologised, That’s because Emery want’s to play him against Wolves but can hardly do so unless he apologises. Also no matter how well Ozil played last night they’ll be no place for him on Saturday. We’ve got to rid of this manager, he’s taking us backwards.

  17. Pat says:

    I blame Emery for everything. He is not a fair manger, he show favouritism, creating an atmosphere of discord and lies, I blame him for not leading by example. Overall I blame him for the bad and unproductive football that made fans angry. There are many types of people among the fans and some only need a little encouragement before misbehaving. I love xhaka and I love all our players but I dislike Emery seriously simply because of his attitude and not giving every player a level playing field. Even if you like a player, as a good manger you don’t show extreme likeness for some and extreme hatred for another.

    1. Durand says:

      Pat you summed it up very well. Xhaka being told to play as a DM when he’s not, and our DM’s Chambers (can’t buy a start at DM), and Torreria, who’s being pushed forward for god knows why.

      The root of all our woes is Emery.
      1. Crap defense which is getting worse
      2. Auba & Laca starving for service
      because Emery can’t figure out how
      to get them involved and firing
      3. Not only does he lack any.
      identifiable style, he’s busy
      killing the style we did have.
      4. He replaces flair with lifelessness
      and attack with sterility.

      Clear to see he can’t move up forward, hell he can’t even get us treading water.

      Emery is clearly drowning, and taking the club down with him.

      He’s lost the fans, and sickening to watch fans now turn on players; taking no prisoners in effort to get him out.

      1. Durand says:

        I think Xhaka struck the right tone in his statement; his apology and how it got to that ugly point.

        Hopefully fans can extend the olive branch and give him a chance to show who he can be. If he fails to deliver, then politely move him on in the Summer.

        Boo players that play poorly, that’s part of the game.

        Threats off the pitch and social media nasty comments is disgusting and beyond the pale.

        Fans should separate themselves from those troglodytes and identify those perpetrators for the filth they are.

      2. Kenny Rolfe says:

        Durand, you say Auba and Laca starving for service. Ozil payed 70 minutes last night and made three goals, maybe that’s got something to do with it

        1. Ronche says:

          Just one. Kenny. He made one. He had an influence in all like every other player did but he assisted only 1 goal. Same as saka, guendouzi etc.

  18. Vicki_guns says:

    As a matter of fact when will all this booing stop, we booed adebayor he scored against us, we did same to Van Persie he scored, we did to cesc, and even Alex chamberlain and o yeah, he did score… So my question is, when is it going to stop, it doesn’t help us at all. We booed not only our opponents but also our fans, we forced a manager out and got a tactician that had no plan B cause his style of attacked is well known by other coach now. So my conclusion is, the problem of Arsenal football club are fan base… We have the most weak and frustrated fan base among the top six club, 2, the board and Emery…

  19. Ronche says:

    I remember watching carzola in an arsenal shirt and not once was I ever disappointed. At the end of most games I would have clapped until my palms were red. I watch xhaka play now and all I feel is disgust. He’s a horrible player and hence the boos. Booing is not illegal in football. Arsenal fans pay a lot of money to watch their team play and when someone like xhaka gives a stupid foul, penalty or puts in a poor performance, it’s very painful. He deserved every bit of boo’s he got. I can’t remember xhaka having a good season. He was never ever meant to be made captain. What was said about his family online was horrible but facing reality he’s not the first neither will he be the last. It’s the world we live in now where everyone can voice their opinions and while some can be reasonable, some just say whatever nastiness comes to their heads. That being said, for all the leadership qualities xhaka is being hailed for none have been made manifest. He’s very poor at press conferences (portraying his teammates as weak), he doesn’t take respondmsibilty for his mistakes (not like sokratis or ceballos). He finds a way to blame someone else. Bottom line is that I do not like xhaka, as a player or the captain of my club. He is the embodiment of the weakness and inconsistency we seem to be suffering at the club (emery’s role cannot be down played too). I just hope never to see him in an arsenal shirt again. I wish he and his family well in thermir endeavors but he should be sold ASAP

    1. Restless says:

      We need to stop fuelling this fire and let tempers cooldown on all sides. Good decisions are hardly ever made in anger. I have never been a supporter of Xhaka as a player but I am a supporter as a human being needing dignity and respect even in the midst of the worst mistake. Give him and his family a few days to gather themselves. Thank you Sir.

      1. Ronche says:

        Respect is earned. He hasn’t earned respect. What he’s getting from people that sympathize is pity. If he wants respect he should work on his performance. I don’t pay to watch him play rubbish then he expects me to clap afterwards. I understand your point very well but I don’t pity him. He should chin up and find a way to better his performance. Arsenal fans sacrifice a lot too

  20. Restless says:

    Again, football is not the most important thing in life. We must be careful the way we use words because “words are like weapons and they wound sometimes” We do not know what each person is going through in their private lives so we must be careful not to compound it. Criticism is okay but wishing a player’s daughter gets cancer and threatening the wife is going too far. If any of the people commenting here have been close to somebody who died of cancer or is going through depression, trust me, they are life-changing experiences. We all need to watch our words because so many things in life are more important that football.

  21. peter morris says:

    There is difference between being a fan and a hooligan. booing our own players is not only mediocrity but a huge disrespect of the clubs badge. How do we expect our best players to renew contracts if we don’t show them respect? Anelka serves s good example, when he had difficult times, he was booed, when he got it right he just left! Let’s stop being stupid and stand with our players. For Emery, thank you for being with us, goodbye

  22. S says:

    Has xhaka ever stopped to think why people are angry with him? Why people say stupid things on social media? And what the combination of these two do to his brain? Just quit the damn thing and focus on your job. It got to you because you cared about what people said. The best players believe in themselves and nobody else!

  23. OG the 12th man says:

    Instead of booing our players, why don’t we just boo the manager

    1. Restless says:

      Excellent

  24. Edus and donts says:

    Air must be pretty thin up on that high horse of yours Dan. I was at the game and didn’t boo xhaka but don’t think his behaviour was acceptable either.

    But of course anyone who doesn’t share your view has shamed the club.

    1. Edus and donts says:

      To clarify, not defending the few stupid trolls who are abusive on social media (if you were ever a pro footballer would you look at the poop storm that is Twitter?), But booing a player who didn’t get they we were chasing the game and needed a swift jog from him to get the pace up is the fans privelige.

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