Did Arsenal fans inspire Xhaka after booing him off in 2019?

Granit Xhaka’s departure from Arsenal this summer came as a hero’s farewell for many Gunners fans. However, things could have taken a different turn for the Swiss midfielder when Mikel Arteta took charge at the end of 2019.

During Unai Emery’s time as Arsenal’s manager, Xhaka found himself embroiled in a turbulent episode with the club’s supporters in 2019, which led to him being stripped of the captaincy. It appeared that he was determined to leave the club at that time, but Arteta, who was newly appointed as the manager, managed to convince him to stay.

Arteta’s influence and support proved instrumental in helping Xhaka redeem his image and rejuvenate his career at the club. As a result, Xhaka played a pivotal role for Arsenal as they came close to winning the Premier League last season.

Reflecting on the incident with the fans, Xhaka has acknowledged how it served as a turning point in his career. The difficult episode inspired him to become a better player, and he worked hard to prove his worth to the fans and the team. Ultimately, his determination and resilience paid off, and he regained the support and admiration of the Arsenal faithful during his time at the club.

He told Blick:

‘I was Arsenal captain in 2019. Then came this story with the fans. I never had any problems with the boys and the club.

 ‘It was more a misunderstanding between the fans and me. Coming back to Arsenal like that afterwards gave me even more strength.

‘I was able to show what personality is in me. I don’t like talking about myself. But you can also praise yourself if the journalists don’t praise you that much. Seriously, you learn from things like that.’

Just Arsenal Opinion

Xhaka was one of our finest players under Arteta and the midfielder leaves as a hero. That time he fell out with us was a key moment in our relationship, but the midfielder redeemed himself and will be welcomed warmly whenever he visits us.

Hopefully, Declan Rice and Kai Havertz will fill the void he left behind and we will not miss his presence.

Tags Granit Xhaka


        1. I thought, that he was “supposed” to have been arrested. Wasn’t he? I may be wrong, it won’t be the first time. 🤣

  1. The player was arrested on the 4th July. First game in the USA was on the 16th. Bail conditions probably allowed him to travel, that’s if it is him.

  2. Crikey! no one actually spoke about Xhaka which is meant to be the topic of the discussion. Anyways, he’s gone, he’s gone and fair play to him for coming back magnificently.

    Its going to be a tough ask replacing him. He has experience, slows the game when we need to win ugly and understands the dark arts. He isn’t one to be bullied. We don’t have another character like that. I’m sorry but Kavertz can’t do his position. Xhaka probably contributes more goals than him as well.

    I think the positional change was crucial for Xhaka’s career. Wenger played him as a defensive midfielder (so he didn’t have to buy a proper defence minded player in the middle of the park) knowing full well this was not his position and Xhaka failed woefully here.

    It took a while for Arteta to change that, and that was only after realising Partey could protect the back four by himself. This released Xhaka to play further up the field as well as track back when needed – and the rest was history.

  3. I suppose we can excuse our behaviour by kidding ourselves we “inspired” players by targeting their families etc etc etc?

    Surely we can “inspire” players by acting like supporters, as we did when Saliba scored his own goal and we cheered his every move afterwards?

    I will never understand why supporters feel the need to treat their own players this way.

  4. Ken, they were keyboard warriors who targeted his family, who wouldn’t say boo to a goose when face to face.

    It was before my time of going to The Arsenal, but I’ve heard of how Jon Sammels was forced to leave because of the boo boys, and that was a player who scored the winning goal when we won our first European trophy.

    As you say, it’s great how the supporters in the stadium last season got behind the players. Hopefully it carries on.

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