Former Manchester United defender, Patrice Evra has revealed that Arsenal legend, Thierry Henry once ‘turned off the television’ after seeing Granit Xhaka lead the Gunners out onto the pitch as captain.
Xhaka becomes a subject of discussion after being sent off for grabbing Burnley’s Ashley Westwood around the neck during the second half in their Premier League encounter on Sunday night.
After the midfielder’s dismissal, Mikel Arteta‘s men conceded the only goal of the match and lost through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s own goal. The defeat sink the Gunners to their seventh defeat of the season in just 12 Premier League games.
Speaking during the post-match Sky Sports coverage, Evra recalled a story about Henry’s feelings on Xhaka. According to the Champions League winner, the Arsenal legend couldn’t stand seeing the Swiss as the team leader.
“We’re talking about Xhaka, I will tell you a quick story. Thierry Henry one day invited me to his house, he said “come Patrice, we’re going to watch the Arsenal game”.
“He turned on the TV. The first image we saw on the screen it was Xhaka leading Arsenal, being the captain – Thierry Henry turned off the TV.
‘I said “What’s happened?”. He said “I can’t watch my team and Xhaka being the captain of my team”, and we didn’t watch the game.
‘We started talking about many things and he turned off the screen. It tells you everything of what the legends of this club think about him. He again let down his team.”
The Frenchman recalled describing Arsenal as babies under the leadership of Xhaka after the Gunners fell to 1-0 defeat to the Blades last season, adding that his performance is usually under scrutiny.
‘We criticised Pepe so much, but Xhaka’s it’s not the first time. I remember even two years ago I made a comment about Arsenal saying the team look like babies and he came out “Patrice Evra it’s not the first time he spoke about us
“I remember the next game, he gets substituted or he gets off and he takes off his shirt and he throws it on the floor. So, we had enough of Xhaka. I think Arsenal fans have had enough of him.'”
Arsenal Already have enough of Xhaka – Evra
Althoguh Henry wasn’t in the studio to confirm the story, but the action of the Swiss could make Arsenal to have had enough of him.
Interestingly, Mattéo Guendouzi, who has been sent out on loan was playing well before losing his temper against Brighton to grab Neal Maupays neck.
“People say in the modern game, in the game at any time, he’s fouled him. Just accept that’s going to be a yellow card. It’s a lunge, I was late and then he gets involved in that nonsense.
“‘And then Westwood trips him up accidentally and then he (Xhaka) grabs Westwood by the neck and the referee’s a yard away. It’s stuff you see in the playground.
“When he sees that – he trips over Westwood. I’m trying to put myself in that situation, you feel you’ve been pushed over on purpose, but his reaction is totally wrong. His very first action is a foul and a yellow card because he’s clumsy and he’s not on toes thinking about the situation.
“‘I’m caught flat-footed, I’ll have a lunge here. Why do you want to square up? Go away thinking it’s a foul, I’ll take this on the chin, but to get involved in that. I said about this guy a couple of years ago – he was running back and he went to ground.”
With pressure mounting on Arteta, Arsenal fans will see how the team returns to winning ways. They will be hosting in-form Southampton on Wednesday as there won’ be a European commitment for now.
Winning such a game will be a huge statement of purpose from the Spaniard.
But emphasis will still be on the likely punishment that will be handed to the Swiss after such an unprofessional act.
His Xhaka’s time over at the club? Let’s hope the matter is resolved soon to lift the moral of the team