Xhaka Does Not Owe Fans An Apology! By Dan Smith
I want to give you a quote from a fan on social media regarding Granit Xhaka, “I am still waiting for MY apology”.
In one sentence that summed up a problem with a section of our fan base. To clarify, he’s referring to Xhaka’s red card last weekend when he foolishly put his hand around an opponent’s throat.
He was rightly condemned by his manager and, who knows, it might long term cost him his future as it proved his weak mentality. With VAR watching everything it’s not like he was trying to land a cheap shot thinking he could get away with it, he simply lost his composure. He’s been punished in the form of a sending off which warrants a 3-game ban.
FA rules say nothing about a player having to post online saying how sorry they are.
Just think about that sense of entitlement. That we think we are so important that we deserve an explanation.
Imagine that you make a mistake at your place of work. You would expect your employer to take action, maybe you owe your colleagues an explanation but that would be it.
If I was the midfielder, would I be saying sorry to some who verbally abuse me, wished my child died and hoped my wife got cancer? While I obviously stress that’s a minority of our supporters, those are the ones who care.
Think of it like this, it has zero meaning to my life if the Swiss captain says sorry or not. The irony being the ones who do care are most likely to be those who rely on having negativity to get some views.
Let’s be honest; if Xhaka had said sorry would that honestly have changed anything?
They say if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything, and in a sense that is what the player has done.
He and Mustafi were mocked for saying how their mental health was affected by constant criticism.
Bellerin has spoken about the perception the players have of fan channels.
Even Arsene Wenger warned we were in danger of losing our proud values.
How many on social media listened?
Xhaka has tried to rescue his relationship with supporters.
He’s stopped his car to sign autographs just to be sworn at, forcing security to advise him next time just drive on. He explained the length of trolls he gets daily.
Right or wrong he views it as ‘the majority of fans don’t like him’ so what’s the point?
I get that. I remember watching Bergkamp leave an elbow in someone’s face, Vieira get in scraps, how did we act at Old Trafford when Van Nistelroy missed a pen? I don’t remember demanding my own apology.
The counterargument to that of course is those names were successful.
So what we are saying is in general Xhaka gets verbally abused, mocked and disrespected because some think he’s not good at his job? Which has nothing to do with what happened against Burnley.
If people spoke to me and my family the way some speak to Xhaka, I wouldn’t bother with them either, not if my only sin was not being good at my job. And if I felt my critics were biased what would be the point of trying to change their perception?
Biased as in; If Holding had done what Gabriel had done Wednesday the reaction would have been different.
Partey walked off the pitch during a Spurs counter attack yet Bellerin was held more responsible for their second goal.
Laca gets picked on even though his work ethic has clearly been better than Auba’s.
You can’t dare question if Leno is not as good as some say he is, but it’s okay to blame Mustafi even though he hasn’t started a game in the League this season.
We are disappointed with Willian’s assist record in the Premiership, even though it’s better than the great youngsters we say are better than they are.
Here’s an example.
Arteta was wrong for picking Xhaka and Bellerin last Sunday. That’s what some say cost us the game. So in theory, three days later, without them things should have been perfect? We still didn’t win.
Not able to blame the usual suspects some faced a dilemma. They couldn’t hold Gabriel accountable because that would be admitting he hasn’t been as great as some have made out.
They couldn’t with a straight face blame Rob Holding again. If you notice, the narrative has been for weeks Gabriel is great and anything that goes wrong is the other centrebacks fault.
Yet when Gabriel makes a mistake, it’s ‘oh he’s young and trying too hard.’
Again if Holding got sent off in the exact same manner would the reaction be the same? He’s only two years older but it’s funny how his age is never considered when he makes an error.
Let me clarify.
When I say us or we, I’m referring to the minority of our supporters.
The majority are educated enough to not feel the need to verbally abuse another human, just because we lost a football game. It wouldn’t and hasn’t ever entered my head to handle my disappointment by going on to a player’s Twitter and writing things about him and his family.
So the minority ruin it for the majority and that’s who Xhaka thinks about when he decides not to interact, because the only ones the next day who will be on YouTube disrespecting him are the minority who will think badly of him with or without an apology.
Bellerin for example is a positive voice on social media. Yet he gets ridiculed for his love of fashion, planting trees and even got trolled for getting called up for his country.
So a player clearly feels what’s the point in publicly saying sorry as he’s not liked, and nothing he says will change that. He’s most likely had a conversation in the dressing room and training pitch and that’s good enough for me.
If Pepe doesn’t play well at Everton how many will take it easy on him just because he said sorry? He doesn’t owe us an apology, especially those who have disrespected him. How many who wished death on his family apologised?
Where were the YouTube channels demanding the Xhaka family get an apology? If he has to tolerate that, I’m sure fans can cope with a player getting sent off in a game of football.
From a PR perspective, he’s probably been advised to put out a statement. The fact he won’t, knowing the backlash, shows you a man who has such a poor relationship with the fans he’s not even trying anymore to be liked.
If that shocks you, then maybe it’s not the player who has to do some reflecting?
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