Arsenal manager Unai Emery has revealed that Granit Xhaka’s “mindset is better” and will “decide tomorrow” if he will play against Southampton on Saturday.

Emery has consistently backed the Arsenal midfielder after he was stripped of the captaincy after his reaction to his own fans boos.

And the Gunners boss has revealed that Xhaka needs “confidence and comfort” after holding clear the air talks with the Swiss international.



“He’s coming back better. His mindset is better and this morning I have a very good conversation with him,” Emery said.

“My objective is for him to come back helping us and convincing everyone that he is going to be better in the short or long future with us.

“He’s feeling better and his team is Arsenal now. He wants to come back with the confidence of the supporters.

“We are going to decide tomorrow (if he plays) but I want to give him confidence and comfort.”


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Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka is not in Unai Emery’s plans to play Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday.

The Switzerland midfielder appeared to tell supporters to “f**k off” as he was jeered while being substituted during Sunday’s 2-2 Premier League draw with Crystal Palace.

Xhaka said in a statement that death threats against his wife and messages wishing his daughter got cancer pushed him to “boiling point” and that is why he lashed out at fans.

He didn’t play in Arsenal’s Carabao Cup defeat to Liverpool on penalties in midweek and Emery has confirmed that he will be left out against Wolves.

Emery told a press conference on Friday: “He is training. He didn’t play in Liverpool for me he is continuing, above all [we are] focusing on tomorrow.

“The human, like everyone, feels. Xhaka’s issues last week is one issue that needs time. He needs time to recover the normality in him.

“He said sorry, he gave the apology to the supporters and to everybody. Now is the focus on the match.”

Asked whether he is surprised by how explosive the abuse has been, Emery added: “Everybody maybe we have some social media on our phone, on our internet, on our web. Really to use it is only being intelligent. We can respect the people on social media but we have to separate how much is real. Every supporter is not following that.

“For me the best supporters or the good response is how the supporters respond in our stadium. We have a lot of supporters around the world and we respect them but the real response is in the stadium. In the stadium sometimes it’s normal when we aren’t winning that they respond with some criticism. It’s normal to coach and players.

“Also a lot of players sometimes receive that criticism in the stadium and when you recover with a good performance they forget that and applaud the players and team.

“That’s our objective. To connect with the people, to win and respond the supporters to us, helping us in 90 minutes. This is our target tomorrow.”

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Newcastle centre-back Fabian Schar is shocked by the treatment of “good guy” Granit Xhaka – and fears his Switzerland team-mate will find it hard to bounce back.

Schar admitted that fan backlash is the “worst thing” that can happen to a footballer after Xhaka was booed off by his owen supporters against Crystal Palace., reports The Sun.

The 27-year-old said: “I played with him for years and I know how he is as a person.

“He’s doing everything for Arsenal, which is why he’s captain. He’s a very good guy and people aren’t seeing this.

“I will see him in a couple of weeks with the international team and I’ll give him a hug.

“It’s very hard for a player when your own fans are against you.

“Then you do something emotional that people don’t understand.

“It would be a very difficult situation for any player to have to deal with that.

“To have that from your own fans is the worst thing that can happen to you.

“Nobody wants to see things like this. I’m happy that this has never happened to me.”



Schar says Xhaka is worshipped back home after helping Switzerland into the last 16 of last year’s World Cup.

He added: “He has a much better standing in Switzerland.

“It’s seen as a big thing that he’s captain of both his country and Arsenal.

“He’s doing a great job for us. I know how he is and how he feels.

“I can really understand him and I’m feeling for him.”


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One of Granit Xhaka’s close friends says the midfielder “regretted his actions straight away” after telling the Arsenal crowd that booed him to “f**k off”.

The 27-year-old waved his arms, cupped his ears and told supporters to “f**k off” as they jeered him following his substitution during Sunday’s 2-2 draw at home to Crystal Palace.

Xhaka also batted away head coach Unai Emery’s attempted handshake and removed his Arsenal shirt before storming down the tunnel.

Patrik Dibrani, who currently plays for Swiss third-tier side SC Zofingen, came through the youth ranks with Xhaka at Basel and spoke to the Arsenal midfielder after the incident.

“It hurts me a great deal. Granit is like a brother to me,” Dibrani told Swiss publication Blick. “I understand that he did not react well to the booing but if you are a true fan of your club it is like a love affair.

“You have to be there for each other in the bad times as well as the good. There should be no place for booing your own players. I spoke on the phone to Granit after the game.

“He’s not in a good place – he is grief-stricken. He regretted his actions straight away. He is an emotional person.”


And Dibrani thinks the boos head inside the stadium were made by “tourists” and “not genuine supporters”.

“The fans and the English media are quick to bury him. He is at an age when he can make mistakes, and only human” Dibrani added. “I think the fans who slaughter him are tourists. They are not genuine supporters.

“Granit does everything for his football. He had a personal trainer, and missed out on partying.

“Then he gets abused in the stadium and on social media. The comments are below the belt.

“At Basel he was an undisputed first-teamer aged 18, and he was Borussia Monchengladbach’s youngest ever captain. Now he gets slaughtered without mercy. It is not fair.

“Swiss people have to be proud that one of us is captain of one of the world’s biggest clubs but the blame for Arsenal’s entire situation is being placed on Granit’s shoulders.

“I am a Manchester United fan, and both they and Arsenal have been off the top of English football for five or six years.

“Both clubs are simply not as good as Liverpool or Manchester City.”

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Graeme Souness has laid into Arsenal after they “capitulated” against Watford.

Arsenal squandered a two-goal lead at half-time to draw 2-2 with winless Watford, who remain bottom of the Premier League.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice but was then left baffled by his own side’s defending as they contrived to face the most shots they ever have in a Premier League game since Opta stats began.

Granit Xhaka, captain on the day, admitted he and his teammates were “scared”, at which point Souness’s head almost flew clean off.

“If you were an Arsenal supporter watching that, you must be scratching your head,” he said.

“It’s as if this is the first team in the first half but then a second team in the second half…they capitulated.

“Proper teams don’t play like that. Proper teams don’t have a half like that in the first half and play like that in the second half. Proper teams just don’t do that.

“They bring on some kids in a game that, at 2-1, it was time to dig in and regroup and make sure they don’t lose the game.

“They should have lost the game in the second half because when the kids came on they were all over the place. It was like a game of basketball.

“I think if you were an Arsenal supporter, that would deeply worry you.

“Who are the big personalities there?

“He [Xhaka] said they were scared. I was never scared in a game of football in my life. I just don’t understand that.”


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