Granit Xhaka’s statement following his controversial Arsenal substitution last weekend has been met with a decidedly mixed reaction from Gunners fans.
The Swiss was roundly jeered when he was replaced by Bukayo Saka shortly after the hour mark of the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium, with supporters both angry at his performance and his slow walk to the touchline when coming off.
Xhaka could be seen mouthing “f*** off” towards the fans, while also gesturing to the stands as he made his way straight down the tunnel.
There have been calls for Gunners boss Unai Emery to strip Xhaka of the club captaincy after the incident, while the midfielder was absent from the squad for Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup defeat at Liverpool .
In a statement issued on Arsenal’s Twitter account, Xhaka detailed some of the online threats towards him and his family after the incident, adding: “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 that’s what people thought.”
The words have been met with a range of reaction from Gunners fans, with three distinct types of response.
Some aren’t sure it was even an apology:
Others are happy with it:
While most simply hit out at the vile online abuse that he and his family have received since the weekend.
Having missed the Carabao Cup penalty shootout loss at Anfield, Xhaka is set to return to the Gunners squad for their Premier League clash with Wolves on Saturday.