Belfast Telegraph

Emery is calling for focus after omitting Xhaka


Arsenal's Granit Xhaka
Arsenal's Granit Xhaka

By Mark Mann-Bryans

Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka will not play against Wolves today as head coach Unai Emery calls for "100 per cent" focus on the match.

Emery has taken the decision to leave Xhaka out of the firing line after he swore at supporters as he was jeered leaving the pitch in the draw with Crystal Palace last Sunday.

The Gunners have yet to make a decision over whether the 27-year-old will retain the armband.

The Switzerland international broke his own silence on Thursday night, explaining long-term abuse over social media led to his reaction last weekend.

Emery admitted in the immediate aftermath of Sunday's 2-2 draw that Xhaka's actions were "wrong" but has spoken since about the need to respect his human side.

That means he will be taken out of the firing line as Wolves visit the Emirates, looking for a result to further increase the pressure on under-fire Emery.

"The focus is tomorrow's match," the Spaniard said when asked if Xhaka would play. "It's not in my mind that he will play. I think he is not going to play.

"Now, we need to be focused on the match 100 per cent. Now we are going to train but at the moment, he's not in my mind."

Asked if the former Borussia Monchengladbach man would retain the captaincy, Emery added: "We were waiting for his statement on Monday ahead of the last press conference here on Tuesday. The next step is tomorrow's match. He is training normally with the team, he didn't play at Liverpool and he is continuing and above all has remained focused on tomorrow."

Belfast Telegraph


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