Arsenal’s midfielder Granit Xhaka didn’t mince his words while speaking with reporters after a shocking 0-2 loss to Newcastle United that knocked the London club out of the UEFA Champions League spot. Xhaka slammed the display Arsenal players put on and concluded that “we didn’t deserve to be on the pitch.”
“I can’t explain to you why. We didn’t do what the game plan was, not listening to the coach,” Xhaka said. “What happened was a disaster performance. You don’t deserve to play the Champions League or even Europa League. It’s very hard to take it at the moment.”
The 29-year-old Swiss international didn’t stop here. After being asked whether Arsenal’s inexperience was to blame for the meltdown, Xhaka said that he believes lack of effort was the bigger issue.
“If someone isn’t ready for this game, stay at home. It doesn’t matter your age. If you’re nervous, stay on the bench or stay at home,” he added.
Arsenal was occupying the last UCL spot on Premier League standings ahead of the Newcastle game. However, by losing to Newcastle, Arsenal gave away the position to their London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. They can still regain it in the season’s final game, but too many things would have to fall in their favor. Tottenham would need to lose to already relegated Norwich City, while Arsenal would need to beat Everton.