Why do some Arsenal fans think Xhaka owes them an apology?

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?


Be Kind In The Comments



Tags Burnley red card Xhaka


  1. The problem is with the people being paid to run the club, top to bottom.
    They’re only there to collect money. They face no proper scrutiny on their jobs because they know the money’s going to arrive from somewhere.
    There are no “consequences” for them, only the supporters.

    1. I agree with you, because the matches are just another day at the office for them and they can still collect their hefty salaries despite Arsenal’s downfall. However, the one who suffers the most is Kroenke, because he’s spent 300+ M for the players, he’s paid a lot for the layoffs and the pandemic has made Arsenal’s financial situation much worse

      Some fans could just stream Arsenal matches illegally, but Kroenke was the one who paid for Wenger’s/ Emery’s/ the players’ salaries and will have to pay for the future layoffs. Unfortunately he’s a lazy billionaire who just replaces his employees when things don’t work out and this big turnover has been hurting the club in the last ten years

      The lack of control and discipline from the top of the hierarchy must change first before Arsenal hire a new manager or a new player, because complacency is a highly infectious disorder

      1. I wouldnt go feeling sorry for kroenke… the money he invested in the last 5 years has all been off the profits of the club not out of his own pocket, even though he gladly invested 1.25 BILLION to make a new stadium for the LA rams. Granted the money we did spend on players in the last few seasons has been extremely poor, it was all revenue money.

    2. Well if Garbi has been the best player for the last three months, one mistake should not send him to the slaughter house. One thing i agree, i hate personal attack, especially aginst those Who cannot defend themselves, such as fotball player, their families and friends, they are human being too, think how much some have bilittle Wenger with all he did for us and think of the year and year out of players he was building the team around, needing Just one or two good season and then throw him under the bus for another club, the TH, the VPthe Songs, etc. We are all dissapointed but we should not let it go over the players and their families, constructive criticism is good for a players development, stop miss using your power of social media. We should not be here, something is seriously wrong and whiles we are searching for answers, i am of the opinion that young players, Who will not win us the PL for us or give us 4th place, should be given the chance right now to develope, this enviroment could be the best to let them know of the trust and hope we have in them and i am very certain that, with them, we are not going down. I dont believe that spending money and bringing players is the solution, we cant Just create a situation in which these great talent will think that going away is the solution to their progressiv. We have example of youngters Who left with that mentality and they made it.

  2. Thinking about it logically Dan you have a very good point
    All I’d add is that a statement apologising to all concerned is better than doing nothing. Have you not noticed how it has annoyed quite a few on JA that Xhaka hasn’t?
    He is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t

    1. Sue, the whole post is a classic shot off target.
      Comparing Burnley game to Everton?!
      An apology is a gesture of humility and nothing more, skills on the pitch are more important, however an apology would not change anything.
      Gabs has been standout after joining a new league, a new team, Rob has been poor ever since he signed for us.
      Along with the job comes the responsibilities, if you cannot handle it, resign with grace.You cannot have the best of both worlds – Xhaka, Mustafi, Bellerin if you cannot handle the pressure, retire or go to some club where where you will not be in the spotlight. The National League is the right place for players like you(in fact most of the team), not the EPL

  3. I don’t think he owes fans an apology previous incident yes because he reacted to fans not this one. Red card is part of game sometimes when emotions are running high and specially what the team is going through fustration can take better of you. Viera and Keane use to get so many red cards, did they apologized for every red card. Why are our fans being so sensitive about everything? It happened he lost it in a moment so it happened move on, Pepe did the same so did Elneny to be honest but he got away with it in same game. This is football firs fans complaint about Arsenal being soft and you don’t see the passion then when players start to show the tough side and passion like Xhaka and MG last season they are not happy with it either. Fans are confused they don’t know what they want them selves just want to put the balme on someone as usual to make him an escape goat. Were we winning in 50-60 odd minute when he was on the pitch? No, we were not so how do we know Arsneal would have won in next 30 minutes if he stayed on the pitch. We played 14 matches and apart from three we had all the players in the pitch did we win all? . As fustration and desperation sets in more expect more errors and lashing out form players….after all they are human and when you are under pressure some ppl thrive some respond in other ways.

  4. Xhaka is just one of the symptoms.
    The players are just one of the symptoms.
    The coaches are just one of the symptoms.
    The board is just one of the symptoms.

    The real culprit in all this is the owner who does not have his heart set on our club.

    It’s an ownership that has no business owning a club like Arsenal because they never show real commitment to winning.

    Unless that changes, we will be here next year and the year after complaining about the next Xhaka.

  5. Another funny fact is same batch of players were praised last year for winning FA cup and turning the corner under Arteta in league. No one was saying the team is not good enough let’s get rid of all of them. Everyone was just pushing the club to buy few more players in some area to improve the team. Now just to shift the blame completely from Arteta they are saying players are Shxt and we need to get rid of all of them. Here are two things to remember.

    1) most of the players in team now are the ones bought in last 3 seasons including this season summer transfer. So they are relatively new.

    2) Also a lot of young ones are from our own Academy and they are in first team so they are in a way new blood.

    3) Only Wenger era players that were regular in team were Mustafi, Xhaka, Bellerin which are playing in our team. Laca and Eleney were least used actually former was almost never present. So who brought them back into team as regular, who revived Xhaka Arsenal career, who kept playing Bellerin when he has other choices. Answer simple Areta.

    You can not blame old regime (Wenger) for our downfall and say we need to get few players that remain from his era causing issues. When you went out of the way to keep them in team, provide them with chances and then preferred them on other choices you have in squad. It’s like for argument sake I gave you a broken car which has a history of letting you down on longer journeys but you also own a new car which is perfectly fine and reliable over longer journeys. You take my given car to workshop get it fixed and decide to use that for longer journey then you break down on motorway somewhere. Can you blame me no! Because I have you the car so you had choice if you take it or leave it, you chose to take it. Then you also had another choice to use your own car but you chose to go with a car which had a history of failing, again who’s fault is it?

    1. Mohsan, Spot on. The level of excuses that’s given is mind boggling and absurd. Soon they will turn into pretzels from all the twisting and turning they do to protect MA. I don’t get it. This should be a lesson that we should never hire former players as a managers

      1. George Graham destroys your argument; please check Google to educate yourself on his playing and managerial career statistics at The Arsenal!

  6. I think some fans’ demand about Xhaka’s apology is cultural thing. But I agree that his apology wouldn’t change anything, since he seems determined to leave us

    It’d a pity if he leaves though. Because he starts to become a necessary part of the first team, just like Henderson at Liverpool

  7. Xhaka is shit, even if he apologized who cares really
    For me the earlier he’s gone the better
    He’s not a DM, he’s not a Cam nor a good CM
    He can’t defend, tackle, pass
    Really what does he bring to this team

    He should just go

    1. Agree … But so should those that turned down an offer from Berlin back in January … They are even more clueless than the man himself … Never imagined the club could reach this kind of state …

  8. Fan do not realize the repercussions of heir actions.. When fans abuse their own. Other players think twice before joining..Thats what Wenger didnt quite explain..

  9. As for your comparisons Dan, in context maybe or perhaps it’s understandable.

    What has he truly done at Arsenal since his arrival? Penalties that cost us points, rashness leading to bad decisions, in multiple years he’s neither improved himself or midfield.

    No one deserves the vicious abuse he has received, but he’s earned the boos and lack of patience.

    Bellerin has been here for years, but still is a dreadful defender. Professional pride hopefully is a reason to improve but Hector can’t be bothered. I’ve lost patience with him as have many others.

    You mention Gabriel and how some excuse him. Well, he’s 22 been here less than 6 months, and been Player of month 3 straight. Think he’s earned the benefit and fans overlooking a rash moment or two.

    I don’t expect an apology from Xhaka; actually I don’t expect anything. Not improvement, not leadership, not goals or assists, his time is up.

    The cruelty of abuse for the players is unwarranted, but if Xhaka and Bellerin can’t handle the pressure and expectations, then move on.

    Only children should expect unconditional love, these pampered millionaires just reinforce the notion of our mental frailties.

      1. Yes Mark proudly so. Sorry if standards are too much for you. Maybe you accept the poor qualities of Xhaka and others, but I expect better from this club.

        I remember when we were feared in the league, when teams would park the bus and hope for the best against us.

        Now we are freely given possession because we’re toothless, underperformers continue to start, and the team currently a shambles.

        I have standards and expectations of the club, perhaps you are content with less and trying hard is enough.

        It’s December, same problems, same excuses, it’s not good enough. I’m not saying sack him yet, but he looks lost & out of ideas, and overwhelmed by everything.

        Sorry for holding people accountable the same as Wenger & Emery.

        1. Durand, not only park the bus, but try and kick Arsenal players off the park, because they could not compete playing football. Not only is there no fear, but teams are quite happy to allow Arsenal possession, because the team is so toothless.

  10. Xhaka owe fans everything! every player, manager, Board member and Owner are not to smart, Are smart to apologize to fans, A Fotball Club is nothing without their fans.. and to think otherwise is quite stupid.

  11. How terribly sad that anyone would exert so much energy defending Xhaka…if, as you repeatedly say, the abuse directed towards him comes from a very small contingent of the fans, then why would you suggest that we, the fanbase at large, needs some serious self-reflection…maybe it’s you that needs to take a long look in the mirror…there’s no doubt in my mind that Xhaka would be disgusted by the mere knowledge that you felt the need to express your empathy, or even worse, your sympathy towards his supposed plight…the last thing this entitled and pampered player needs is to be further enabled by the very fans he’s disappointed so much…I’m not sure if you fashion yourself a contrarian, or a provocateur of sorts, or you simply get a kick out of continually trolling the fanbase, no matter what the case, why don’t you focus on things that really matter, like the crisis at hand…oh by the way, Xhaka should unequivocally apologize for his actions and he should be accepting of the fact that some won’t accept that apology because that’s how life works when you have your big boy pants on

  12. When you compared what happened with both Partey and Gabriel with Xhaka and Holding situation I felt you are clutching at straws.

    Xhaka and Holding have been consistently bad over a period. While the two unfortunately joined a sinking ship.

    What they have done thus far cannot be compared to Xhaka and Holding

    1. Again mate I think that’s a myth
      I think Holding has been his as consistent as Gabriel this season but because he’s a new signing we want to convince ourselves he’s been amazing
      Party started a few games and already cost us a goal against Spurs

      1. Partey “already cost us a goal against Spurs”?
        He was taken out of play by a crippling recurrence of a thigh injury, which has kept him out of subsequent games. What did you expect Party to do on one leg, Dan?

        1. I give up on Dan. He likes Xhaka and rates him. Thats that. Good thing about opinions is they are just that, opinions. The fact is Xhaka offers nothing. He has not offered anything to the club for a few seasons now.

  13. Xhaka doesn’t have to apologize to anyone except his team. The people who signed him and have continued to persevere with him have a lot to answer for. As someone above has already mentioned, it is they who should apologise to the fans for their poor judgement.

  14. Like it or not DAN, all this behaviour from fans – so called fans, as real fans never issue death threats to players and their families under any circumstances – boils down to this: Is the player worth his place in the team OR is he not?
    Fans will always treat players well or badly according to the perception of their worth -or not- to the team and the club. That is not ideal, not decent, not kind but it reflects the reality of how football fanhood is today and the more critical society with its distinct lack of patience , compared to the years gone by.

    Todays younger generation , to speak BROADLY, DOES have a sense of self entitlement that its elders did not and do not have.

    PATIENCE IS LACKING BIGTIME WITH THE SELF ENTITLED GENERATION, THOUGH ITS NOT ALL OF THEM, CLEARLY. BUT IN THE MAIN, younger folk demand what they want and they demand it now! They are not prepared to wait for it and so they demand action now, unhealthy though that is. Just the awful reality of modern fans, as this site shows only too well.
    Xhaka is of course, as almost 100% of Gooners agree, myself included, not worth his place at this club nor in the team. Not right to threaten him and his family but not as surprise , sadly!

    Fine though to have your say in print . That is free speech and vital in a liberal democracy as we are , supposedly, living in, in the free world.

  15. Honestly don’t see what people see in Xhaka.
    He is just a nasty piece of work.
    So overrated. He’s a mistake waiting to happen.
    Sooner he’s gone the better.

  16. Sorry you contradict your self
    And if you have proven my point
    Look how angry you are getting over an opinion

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors