‘He doesn’t want the ball’ Ian Wright slams Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka for performance

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Granit Xhaka

Ian Wright believes Granit Xhaka should be replaced after his performance against Crystal Palace (Image: REUTERS/GETTY)

Arsenal couldn’t hold onto a two goal lead at the Emirates as they drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace on Sunday.

And Arsenal fans were so enraged by what they saw, that Granit Xhaka was booed off as he strolled off the pitch when substituted with 30 minutes left in the game.

When his number was called some Arsenal fans began to cheer ironically to Unai Emery’s decision to replace the club captain, but this then changed to a chorus of boos as Xhaka took his time to reach the sideline.

And as it continued the club captain reacted angrily by waving his arms and then cupping his ears as the chorus of disapproval appeared to get even louder.

When I am watching this I am not sure if he actually really wants the ball

Ian Wright

The 27-year-old then quickly took off his shirt after leaving the pitch before walking straight down the tunnel.

And after the game Arsenal legend Ian Wright questioned if Xhaka even really wanted the ball during the derby match.

“You look at Granit Xhaka for me, he’s having a bad time in respects of what is going on,” Wright said on BBC’s Match of the Day 2.

“But when I am watching this I am not sure if he actually really wants the ball.

Granit Xhaka

Granit Xhaka was booed off by Arsenal fans as he strolled off the pitch (Image: REUTERS)

“I am feeling that his confidence is shot, is it because of the stick he is getting?

“There are a couple of incidents where you are thinking can he get the ball?”

Wright continued in his criticism and suggested Emery should replace the Switzerland international with Dani Ceballos, who is on a season-long loan from Real Madrid.

“I’d put someone like Dani Ceballos in this situation,” Wright added.

“Simply because he wants the ball and he will be working harder to get it.

“When you look at the scarce amount of chances the strikers are getting.

“He [Xhaka] doesn’t seem to want the ball. You think to yourself, yes he may get taken off at some stage when you look at his contribution in the game.

“Here he is in a lot of space but he doesn’t seem to want the ball.”

The draw against Palace means Arsenal are now fifth in the table on 16 points and the gap between them and third and fourth placed Leicester City and Chelsea has widened to four points.

After the final whistle Emery addressed the behaviour of Xhaka as he left the field and admitted the defensive midfielder was wrong to react the way he did.

“He’s wrong but we are going to speak inside about that situation,” Emery said after the game.

“I want to be calm but, really, he was wrong in this action.”

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