By William Hill
1st November 2019
GRANIT XHAKA has been getting it wrong all week.
Some Arsenal fans may think he’s been getting wrong since he joined the club three years ago, but more of that later.
Players know instinctively if they are playing well, getting through games without contributing or simply having a shocker.
Xhaka was poor again in the draw against Crystal Palace at the Emirates.
And his antics after being hauled off was a tipping point for a section of Arsenal fans who have had enough of his mediocrity.
CAPTAIN, NOT A LEADER OR LEGEND
When players are replaced when their team are chasing the game, they jog off the pitch and allow their replacement to get on as quickly as possible.
There should not be any debate around this.
His slow, sulky walk towards the bench angered the home fans, he made it about himself.
Then he cupped his ears and raised his arms goading the booing supporters like a pantomime villain was another masterstroke from a player dragged off for the third time in five Prem games when the team he leads needed a goal.
He got it wrong again when he refused to apologize for his behaviour after his manager Unai Emery instructed him to do so.
Why? Because he is the Arsenal captain and despite the angry reaction from the fans, he should be above their frustrations with him.
MISTAKE AFTER MISTAKE
I’m not a fan of supporters booing players, but it happens, and it will happen again, so players have to deal with it.
Another mistake was his childish move on Instagram changing his profile picture from him in his Arsenal kit to his national colours of Switzerland.
It was a cowardly way of letting the world know he was not happy with his situation.
Next was his Instagram post justifying his actions.
He claims he is being misunderstood by the fans.
Judging by his performances, the fans who have been used to midfield operators such as Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit, Gilberto Silva and Cesc Fabregas have his number.
IGNORE ONLINE TROLLS
Conflating vile social media posts aimed at him and the crowd reaction at the Emirates on Sunday in the stadium was another mistake.
Some Gooners have been fed up with him for two seasons, with plenty of reason.
While Emery has been in North London, Xhaka has played 50 games, winning just 26, a 52 per-cent win-rate.
Without their skipper, Arsenal have won 17 out of 22 games, a win percentage of 74.
They score more in his absence, 2.6 goals per game compared to 1.8 with him.
Defensively, Arsenal are better off without him, they concede 1.1 goals a game compared to 1.3 when he’s around.
Players make mistakes, some have called for the Swiss international never to play for the club again.
There is always a way back for players, that happens if the produce on the pitch, simply play well and all is forgiven.
But here is where the real problems start, he has been a poor signing, and he’s not getting any better.