I commended Arsenal last week for not feeling obliged to release a statement to the public regarding Xhaka, just to tick a PR box. But I feel the club in general could have done better in not making this drag out and letting the bullies get their wish.
In perspective this is what happened; a grown man swore at other adults who swore at him. There was no reason for so much drama.
In an ideal world the player shouldn’t have done what he did, but he’s not a robot, he’s a human who has feelings. Especially when he went into detail about the length of abuse, he’s been receiving. Now though he has been stripped of the captaincy just to reignite the debate.
We know the dressing room voted for who they wanted to be their skipper, so we know the Swiss international is popular. A few of his peers have come out to support him while rumours were that some of his teammates went around his house, so much was he distressed.
So, it’s hard to believe this is going to make the squad feel anything other than sorry for the midfielder. You could even argue he’s been wrongly done.
There is a debate to be had discussing if this man was the best leader, or even if he should be in the first team. Yet that’s a football debate.
Uni Emery hasn’t made this change based on a football choice, he’s made it because of the behaviour of a few idiots. Just think how humiliating that is to our fan base, that we have to change our captain because he couldn’t tolerate abuse anymore.
What message does it send to those cowards now that they have won? They set out to bully him until he snapped now, we now the bullies have got their way, the same they did with Mustafi. What have the club done to discourage them not to do this again? What’s been the deterrent?
If Auba went three months without scoring is it okay to abuse him because you no longer think he’s a good player?
I think it was progressive that the actions of these supporters were put out for the world to see their true colours.
Threatening his wife?
Wishing Cancer On His Child?
He’s lost his captaincy because for a moment he gave in and responded.
The punishments to those who abused him? They will continue to believe paying to see a football match is the same as a right to say whatever they want.
Perhaps they will only learn their lesson when the likes of Lacca doesn’t extend his contract while they try to preach loyalty.
Emery’s assertion that his DM should have said sorry but hasn’t, is his way of saying he think he’s wrong, perhaps it is the coach’s last attempt to show who’s in charge.
So, this isn’t going to improve the confidence of someone his employers were so concerned about they were offering counselling too.
It’s not going to be popular in the dressing room.
It’s just going to drag this on.
The only ones who win are those bullies who were originally guilty.