Emmanuel Petit reacts to the Xhaka incident: 'They killed the heritage of Arsenal when Wenger left'

Granit Xhaka Arsenal

Sunday's Premier League encounter between Arsenal and Crystal Palace was overshadowed by an ugly incident involving a clash between player and fans.

Granit Xhaka's reaction to being booed off the field was one of anger and frustration and has left Unai Emery with an almighty headache.

Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit is adamant that Xhaka can't retain the armband.

"I have never seen something like what happened with Granit Xhaka before," he said in his latest column for Paddy Power.

"For me, he can’t be the Arsenal captain any longer. It’s impossible. What he did was unacceptable.

"I played with guys like Tony Adams and Patrick Vieira – real leaders, big captains – and they showed the personality and character of what it means to be Arsenal captain, whatever happened on the pitch.

"I have witnessed fans booing players before, of course, but not like this. The anger was something else. It’s clear, they don’t want Xhaka to play for Arsenal any more."

Petit, who won the Premier League with Arsenal in 1998, questions whether Emery has helped the situation at all.

"It’s very difficult for the Arsenal fans to forgive Xhaka. They don’t want him to play for their club any more," Petit continued.

"To pass over what happened would be really difficult for Unai Emery – is he going to have the guts to keep Xhaka as captain? I’m not sure.

"Emery didn’t help him at all, in honestly. He knows Xhaka has been getting criticised for weeks, so what message does it send substituting this player, his captain, after an hour?

"Either he’s lying to us, or he’s lying in the dressing room to his team and Xhaka. But his actions tell me that Emery doesn’t have the confidence in Xhaka."

The 49-year-old Frenchman believes that a piece of Arsenal died when his former manager Arsene Wenger was sacked.

"...What I feel now, is that when I look at Arsenal, I don’t see the DNA of the club any more," said Petit.

"I don’t see the style of play from back in the day, the way we played for 20 years. There’s no fluid passing, no movements, no one or two touch, I don’t see that style at all.

"It’s like they killed the heritage of Arsenal when Wenger left."

Emmanuel Petit was speaking exclusively to Paddy Power News. To read more, visit news.paddypower.com


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