Arsenal defender Granit Xhaka criticised his team-mates after their performance in Monday’s 2-0 defeat at Newcastle, saying: “If you’re nervous stay at home.” The midfielder felt his side’s display showed they could not handle the pressure of chasing a top-four spot.
Victory would have moved them above Tottenham into the Champions League places with one game remaining. “If someone isn’t ready for this game, stay at home,” he said. “It doesn’t matter your age. If you’re nervous, stay on the bench or stay at home. You need people to come here and play. It’s one of the most important games for us. We’re feeling very disappointed for the people who came over here.”
However, speaking on Sky Sports, former Manchester United defender Gary Neville criticised Xhaka’s comments. “He’s having a right dig at players in the dressing room,” Neville said.
“I hope he wasn’t having a go at these young players. He has been a disgrace at times, getting sent off etcetera. He has left it up in the air there.”