EPL

Xhaka decided against Arsenal return, says Emery

By Sports Desk November 08, 2019

Granit Xhaka has said he is not ready to return for Arsenal in Saturday's Premier League trip to Leicester City, head coach Unai Emery has confirmed.

The midfielder has not featured for the Gunners since being stripped of the captaincy after his outburst towards fans during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on October 27.

Emery says Xhaka is not in the right frame of mind to feature for the first team, even though he has been dedicated in training this week.

"Not yet," Emery told reporters on Friday when asked if Xhaka would be back in the squad.

"I spoke with him on Tuesday about how he's feeling now and how he is in his mind. He's working well, he's training well, but he said to me that he's not feeling good enough at the moment to play. We are going to wait."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was named Arsenal's new captain and Emery has backed the striker to embrace the role.

"I can remember how we did the process because last year the captains were Laurent Koscielny, Petr Cech, Aaron Ramsey and Nacho Monreal," said Emery. "They left the team, at the last moment as well, Koscielny. In that moment I decided, and also I used the characteristics to find a captain.

"After I started with Granit Xhaka because he has the quality to take the captain's responsibility. Then after the [Palace] issue, I decided it was better for him not to. Next in line is Aubameyang, the second after him is [Hector] Bellerin, third is [Alexandre] Lacazette and the fourth is Mesut Ozil.

"The first is Aubameyang because he has experience and he has the respect in the dressing room. He was the top scorer last year in the Premier League and also I know he needs time to take that responsibility 100 per cent. But we are going to support him.

"Every player, we are going to support the four captains, and we are going to support him as our first captain because he has also made one extra step to achieve that responsibility.

"For example, Sokratis [Papastathopoulos] said everybody can take responsibility as a captain. We want to be a strong family here and I know for the supporters it is very important who is the first face, in front, with the captain's responsibility. I decided to give it to Auba and everybody also agreed with that decision and now I am telling you he needs time to take that responsibility with confidence, but we give him that confidence, I give him that confidence. He has the quality and the values to do perfectly with that responsibility."

Emery's own position is under scrutiny following a run of one win in six games in all competitions, while Leicester are six points above them in the Premier League table.

While he insists he has not spoken to the board about his future, Emery believes off-field problems - such as the issue around Xhaka and the attempted armed robbery of Sead Kolasinac and Ozil in July - have complicated the Gunners' situation.

"We need to improve and also we are in one process," he said. "First we are speaking about the captain's circumstances, then also some circumstances with some players - with Sead Kolasinac and with Mesut Ozil - then also circumstances that didn't help us with Granit Xhaka. For example, we're losing one player at the moment, Granit Xhaka, who is important for us and the way we play, but I have confidence in the players and in our work.

"I know we are in one process and we are speaking with the club about the responsibility of the club, and they are supporting us, and the players are supporting me. We know we are taking one responsibility with the young players, but the young players need one process to achieve that responsibility and their performance in the team, but we are helping them."

Related items

  • Defending champs KC book spot in final four Defending champs KC book spot in final four

    Defending champions Kingston College (KC) secured their spot in the semi-finals of the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup following a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Camperdown at National Stadium East on Tuesday.

    Needing to merely avoid defeat to secure a spot in the final four, Kingston College started brightly but were pushed on the back foot when Camperdown struck on the break.  Striker Shemar Daley showed plenty of composure to stick the ball into the corner of the net after being put through on goal in the 30th minute.

    Things looked worse for KC when they saw a penalty attempt saved in a few minutes later.  Dwane Atkinson finally brought the teams back on level terms four minutes into first-half stoppage time when he smashed a redirected corner past goalkeeper Deshawn White and high into the roof of the net.

    In a steady downpour and slippery conditions in the second half, it was KC who looked the more likely to steal the win and in the end, they did just that.  It was Michael Allen found the back of the net from close range after the ball was held up in the water.  In the group’s other decisive game between Wolmer’s and Charlie Smith.  Wolmer’s led 3-0 before the game was discontinued due to a waterlogged field.

     

      

  • What impact will Raheem Sterling's clash with Joe Gomez have on his immediate future? What impact will Raheem Sterling's clash with Joe Gomez have on his immediate future?
  • Sterling is my idol – Hudson-Odoi defends England team-mate after Gomez altercation Sterling is my idol – Hudson-Odoi defends England team-mate after Gomez altercation

    Callum Hudson-Odoi described Raheem Sterling as his "idol" and insisted the forward remains a big leader in the England dressing room, despite his altercation with fellow team-mate Joe Gomez.

    Manchester City star Sterling has been dropped for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro after a reported coming together with Liverpool defender Gomez at England's St George's Park training base on Monday.

    The pair clashed on the field during Liverpool's 3-1 win over City at Anfield on Sunday and Sterling conceded his emotions "got the better" of him as he explained the incident that took place the following day.

    England boss Gareth Southgate was keen to defuse the situation when he faced the media on Tuesday and Hudson-Odoi has also leapt to the defence of Sterling, who has earned praise in the past for his stance on wider issues such as racism.

    "Raheem's a very nice guy, very encouraging, very positive about everything he does," Chelsea teenager Hudson-Odoi said, according to several British newspapers.

    "When I first came in, I didn't expect him to be so nice. Of course he is a nice person but when you see somebody always welcoming you, just talking to you, giving you advice on how he plays and just being around you a lot it makes you feel so welcome in the team.

    "Someone like Raheem is like an idol to me. The position he plays, and what he's doing for club and country, is an amazing thing, which I will try to replicate myself. It is an amazing feeling to have someone like him doing what he's doing and being around you every time. I want to keep learning off what he does.

    "He's a big leader in the team because he's a very top player, he's in club and country playing every game, working really hard, scoring a lot of goals, so someone like that to have a say on racism it is a big feeling for all of us. He is sticking up for everyone who is involved in the game. It is a great feeling to know he's going to do that."

    Sterling will play no part against Montenegro at Wembley but is in Southgate's plans for the trip to Kosovo three days later.

    He took part in training alongside Gomez on Tuesday and Hudson-Odoi is confident the matter has been dealt with.

    "What's happened, happened," he said. "It is a situation where we have dealt with it as a team. 

    "We have moved on it. We have had a little talk with each other, and made sure everything is OK. We just want to move on as a team and focus on the game on Thursday."

    England require a point from their games with Montenegro and Kosovo to secure a place at Euro 2020.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.