Having been two goals up at home to Crystal Palace, the Gunners once more dropped points from a winning position, eventually drawing 2-2 to remain fifth in the Premier League, four points now behind Chelsea and Leicester.
Losing ground is almost secondary, though, to Xhaka’s reaction when he was subbed off around the hour mark, with manager Unai Emery saying he was “wrong” to have reacted to supporters booing him the way he did.
While his boss, who only appointed the Swiss midfielder as permanent captain at the end of September, favoured a measured approach to the situation, the same cannot be said of supporters.
Speaking on BBC’s Match of the Day show, former striker Wright suggested Xhaka ”owes” the fans for his performances to-date and that, as captain, much more is expected of him.
“He should be apologising, he should have apologised already,” he said.
“It’s not a case of ‘that’s the end of it,’ but that’s the guy they’ve chosen as captain and that’s not captain’s behaviour. Arsenal fans have shown a lot of patience with him and the performances he has put in. He owes them a lot more than that.”
When offered the mitigation by Peter Crouch that being booed by home fans was the worst for a player, Wright remained unequivocal in his view that Xhaka was entirely in the wrong, in this case even more so because of his status.
“He’s the captain! He’s got the responsibility of being able to take that on board because he’s been voted in. You cant go like that.
“The amount of stick someone like Mesut Ozil has got I could understand if [he] throws his shirt down. [But] he’s the captain, the manager has got faith in him!”
Xhaka is in his fourth season at Arsenal, making nearly 150 appearances for the club in that time.
Handed the captaincy after Laurent Koscielny demanded to depart in the summer, Xhaka’s is the latest in a long line of episodes surrounding Arsenal skippers and their apparent displeasure with different aspects of the club.
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