Xhaka stripped of Arsenal captaincy

Thursday, 07 Nov, 2019

"Then the time is giving us the next matches, the next weeks and months how we can continue with every player and with him also". If they conquer Arsenal on Saturday, they will be in the driving seat for the leading 4.

Granit Xhaka has been stripped of the Arsenal captaincy after his X-rated rant towards his own club's fans, and a new captain was confirmed by Unai Emery on Tuesday.

They then rallied after falling behind and levelled through Duarte's fine last-gasp effort before pushing for the win - nearly finding it as Mustafi accidentally steered a cross inches wide of his own post before Rochinha's drilled shot flashed across goal.

Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin claimed the Gunners' squad would rally behind Xhaka following the decision.

Arsenal's faltering form continued as a much-changed side limped towards the last 32 of the Europa League with a 1-1 draw at Vitoria Guimaraes on Wednesday.

"We tried. They are a very competitive team and it was very important for us to be strong defensively". At the time it was hard to deal with it. As a dressing room, we have to be together.

"We respect the decision of the coach and the club. We just don't know", Cross added.

"Again, we can do one step more with him".

Bellerin also opened up on a conversation he had with Xhaka in the aftermath.

"The good thing is when these things happen to you personally, you have a whole squad that can back you, a whole squad that support you".

The Real Madrid loanee appears likely to miss at least Saturday's Premier League trip to Leicester City, although Emery says he will have further tests on Thursday.

Xhaka's absence against Vitoria means it will be the third successive game the player has missed, following his absence from Arsenal's Carabao Cup fourth-round defeat to Liverpool and their Premier League draw against Wolves.

They have won their last three matches in that competition and are also top of their group in the leasing.com Trophy, four points clear of second-placed Scunthorpe.