Arsenal legend Petit gives advice to Xhaka: ‘Just shut your mouth’

Date published: Tuesday 29th October 2019 10:54 - Joe Williams

Emmanuel Petit says his advice to Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka would be to “shut” his mouth and “work” hard after an incident in the 2-2 draw at home to Crystal Palace.

The Gunners had flown out of the blocks and were two goals ahead inside 10 minutes, only for Palace to fight back and earn a draw.

But the talking point came after 61 minutes as Xhaka – a divisive figure among Arsenal supporters – was substituted for Bukayo Saka.

Xhaka’s withdrawal was initially greeted by large cheers, which soon turned to jeers as he took his time to leave the pitch despite the score being level.

He reacted by waving his arms, cupping his ears and seemingly mouth “f*** off” twice as he pushed away a handshake from Unai Emery, took off his shirt and headed straight down the tunnel.

“Xhaka has to be very solid in his mind,” Petit told PaddyPower. “He needs to realise that what happened on Sunday was a mistake. I’m pretty sure he’s going to come up with an excuse, though.

“For now, I’ll be very surprised if he’s on the team-sheet for the Liverpool game.

“If I were to talk to Xhaka, I would say: ‘You are doing the most exciting job in the world, and you have to make sacrifices.

“You must understand that, when you play for a big club like Arsenal, and are captain on top of that, you must be an example on and off the pitch.

“Right now, you’re not. So lay down. Don’t answer any questions that might be a problem.

“Just shut your mouth, work, and try to get back the fans’ and players’ confidence.

“This is the toughest game you will have to play since becoming a player.'”

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