Wright criticises Xhaka for ‘very strange’ interview following Arsenal’s loss at Newcastle

Date published: Tuesday 17th May 2022 6:46 - Jason Soutar

Ian Wright during ITV coverage

Ian Wright believes Granit Xhaka was wrong to call out his teammates following Arsenal’s defeat at Newcastle on Monday night.

The Gunners were comfortably beaten by the Magpies to all but end their bid for a top-four finish ahead of Tottenham.

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After the match, Swiss midfielder Xhaka gave a damning assessment of his side’s performance, hinting that some of his teammates were not up to the occasion at St James’ Park.

The former Gunners captain said (quotes via London World): “If someone isn’t ready for this game, stay at home. 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.”

His interview surprised Arsenal legend Wright, who believes that Xhaka’s comments were poorly timed and ‘did not help anybody’.

Wright said: “They didn’t listen to the coach’s instructions – it is a very strange interview from Granit Xhaka.

“To say it now, I don’t think it helps anybody – it’s very magnanimous of him to come out to be honest. That’s the kind of talk you want in the dressing room for them to understand when you go out there, then you know what you need to do.

“Afterwards, it probably makes people upset, especially when you aren’t naming names.

“I felt it’s the kind of talk you want before the game.

“It’s very easy to say afterwards because, the Tottenham game, you come out and say it then.”

Going into the last day of the season, Arsenal need to beat Everton at home and hope that relegated Norwich City can pull off an upset by defeating Spurs at Carrow Road.

If results go in the Gunners’ favour, they will return to the Champions League at their north London rivals’ expense.

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