Granit Xhaka publicly refused to wear the captain’s armband during today’s Premier League encounter between Arsenal and Brentford.
The Gunners beat the Bees 2-1 this afternoon to keep our hopes of finishing in the top-four very much alive, but it wouldn’t be us if we couldn’t endure some form of controversy along the way.
It wasn’t enough that we had to be denied what I believed to be a clear penalty in the opening half, but even when we were winning by the 2-0 scoreline, there appears to have been some sort of issue.
Alexandre Lacazette was replaced by Eddie Nketiah, with the latter tasked with passing on the captain’s armband to the next leader in the side, but Xhaka hands-down refused to take it, leaving the young forward confused before deciding on Kieran Tierney.
Piers Morgan was quick to react to the actions of Xhaka, but instead of taking aim at the player, he focused on the lack of leadership within the squad in our recent history.
Xhaka refusing to take the armband perfectly sums up Arsenal’s biggest problem: since Vieira left, we’ve never had a proper captain/leader.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 19, 2022
For me, Xhaka’s actions are a symbol of disrespect. The Swiss midfielder donned the armband at the start of the season in the absence of both Laca and Auba, so he must have some new issue with either Arsenal or the fans, and his unnecessary actions today will need some sort of explanation.
He has been linked with a move to Roma in recent windows, and it could be that he is in want of a move, but if this is about that then he should not have signed a new deal with us last summer.
What explanation would be acceptable for his decision? Could it be Arteta who has told Xhaka that he isn’t a part of his leadership group any longer?