Granit Xhaka’s dismal reaction as Arsenal captain to being substituted on Sunday afternoon has underlined the doubt that surrounded his appointment as skipper – and Hector Bellerin’s latest Tweet is proof why the right-back should be captain.
Xhaka, 27, was booed off by the Arsenal fans on Sunday afternoon as The Gunners let a two-goal lead slip. He was replaced by Bukayo Saka in the 61st minute, and Gunners supporters made their thoughts perfectly clear as he trudged off.
But Xhaka, who was named Arsenal captain in September after a vote by the players, cupped his ear as he walked off and some replays have suggested that he swore in the direction of Gunners fans – before walking down the tunnel.
Bellerin posted on Twitter on Monday morning, seemingly in defence of his captain Xhaka – claiming it is not easy to deal with such emotions. It remains to be seen if Xhaka will apologise to Arsenal fans, something which Ian Wright said should happen.
We are all humans, we all have emotions, and sometimes it's not easy dealing with them. It's time to lift each other up, not to push each other away. We only win when we are together. #COYG pic.twitter.com/dkDI7M3xew
— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) October 28, 2019
In the picture, Bellerin is wearing the captain’s armband and congratulating new signing Nicolas Pepe for one of his goals on Thursday night against Vitoria. Bellerin was one of the five captains named by Emery, before Xhaka was picked first.
Many questioned the decision at the time and now it seems clear to many that Xhaka should be stripped of the captaincy. Bellerin has proved, with his Tweet, that if Xhaka does hand down the captaincy – he should replace the midfielder.
Bellerin is one of Arsenal’s longest-serving players, and has since clocked up 184 appearances in all competitions since joining the club as a 16-year-old. He is Arsenal through and through, and does not look as though he is going anywhere soon.
But it is his Tweet – urging Arsenal fans to defend Xhaka rather than get on his back – that shows his selfless, team-first attitude that a captain requires. Bellerin should have been picked instead of Xhaka in the first place, and his Tweet proves that.