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Does Xhaka’s Half-Hearted Apology Settle Things With Arsenal Fans?
Granit Xhaka
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Does Xhaka’s Half-Hearted Apology Settle Things With Arsenal Fans?

Felix Egbomuche

Felix Egbomuche

Granit Xhaka has revealed how he reached 'boiling point' in a statement he released, breaking his silence over the row with Arsenal fans.

The Arsenal captain, who clashed with Gunners fans in last Sunday's 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium against Crystal Palace, was reluctant to say anything but he has now put out a statement through official channels.

But what does this mean for the midfielder and Arsenal as a club? Does his half-hearted apology repair the broken bridge between himself and Arsenal fans?

Would he play any part in Arsenal's weekend game against Wolves or would Unai Emery do what almost everyone expects him to do and leave the Swiss international out of his team for a while?

All of these and more would form our weekend watch in the Premier League but in the meantime, let's analyse Xhaka's missive.

"After taking some time to reflect on what happened on Sunday afternoon, I would like to give you an explanation rather than just a quick response," the 27-year-old began.

"The scenes that took place around my substitution have moved me deeply. I love this club and have always given 100 per cent on and off the pitch.

"My feeling of not being understood by fans, and repeated abusive comments at matches and on social media over the last weeks and months have hurt me deeply.

"People have said things like 'We will break your legs,' 'kill your wife'  and 'wish that your daughter gets cancer'. That has stirred me up and I reached boiling point when I felt the rejection in the stadium on Sunday.

"In this situation I let myself be carried away and reacted in a way that disrespected the group of fans that support our club, our team and myself with positive energy. That has not been my intention and I'm sorry if it's what people thought.

"My wish is that we get back to a place of mutual respect, remembering why we fell in love with the game in the first place. Let's move positively forward together."

As clearly stated in the statement, Xhaka has been left devastated by recent incidents and snapped at the worst time.

He has had to face these fans who have never failed to show their displeasure of his playing style at the slightest of opportunity. But on Sunday, his cup run over and he let his emotions win.

After he was subbed off for Bukayo Saka, he flung the captain's armband, walked to the touchline with no sense of urgency and when he was booed, he cupped his ear and told the fans to "f*ck off*.

But the act that broke the camel's back was when Xhaka ripped off his shirt before storming straight into the tunnel, neglecting his team as they sought for a winning goal. That for a player with his experience was unacceptable.

The midfielder, who was left out of the squad for Arsenal's EFL game against Liverpool, has now voiced his frustration and "apologized" in his statement, but that would do very little in turning the fans to his corner.

It's now left to Emery to decide whether to keep faith with his captain.