'Do it on the pitch': Neville and Carragher furious with what one Arsenal player did after losing last night
Arsenal star Granit Xhaka came out and gave a strong interview after his side’s defeat to Newcastle United last night, and Sky Sports pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville were far from impressed.
The Gunners simply had to win at St James’ Park to reclaim the fourth spot. After the defeat to Tottenham last week, many expected the Gunners to show a response, but they looked worse last night than they did against their fierce North London rivals.
Xhaka spoke to Sky Sports after the game and he seemed to have a real go at his young teammates. He claimed that age does not matter and if a player knew he wasn’t ready for the game, he should’ve just stayed at home. The Swiss international further branded the performance as unacceptable.
Neville and Carragher, who listened to the interview, were furious that Xhaka seemed to point the finger at some of his young teammates.
Neville and Carragher slam Arsenal star Granit Xhaka
A furious Neville said on Monday Night Football: “I don’t know what to make of that interview. He’s obviously having a right dig at people in his dressing room. I don’t know who he’s having a go at there. I hope he wasn’t having a go at those young players. He’s been a disgrace at times over the last four or five years, getting sent off recklessly.”
Carragher, who seemed a bit calmer, said: “He’s come out really strong and we like players, to be honest. He’s having a go at his own teammates really and saying they weren’t ready. But I know from my own experience it’s easy to come out and be really strong with your words at a time like that, and maybe he’ll get a little bit of credit for it. But do it on the pitch.
“I think he’s putting it on some of the younger players – maybe he didn’t feel they were ready or maybe I’ve got the wrong gist of the interview. But it was almost like an experienced player saying, ‘some of these people weren’t ready, they weren’t up for the fight’.
“I love players being honest and straight, but he was part of that. It’s not like two or three players have let them down. That was everybody.”
Arsenal were in the driving seat to finish fourth but it looks like they’ve blown that opportunity now. They have nobody else to blame but themselves, but Xhaka’s interview last night, albeit he was emotional and probably didn’t mean it, was an unnecessary one.
The Swiss international was one of two players over the age of 24 that started the game last night. Arsenal’s very young team clearly couldn’t handle the atmosphere at St James’ Park, but neither could Xhaka, who didn’t have a great game either.
It’s easy to point the finger at some of the younger players, but the fact that those kids have dragged this Arsenal side to where they are now is an achievement on its own, especially after how they started the season.
If there’s one thing that has cost Arsenal this campaign, it’s that their experienced players have failed to step up when it really mattered. Xhaka, even though he has been brilliant individually more often than not this term, has to accept blame on that front instead of pointing the finger at the kids around him.