Following the 3-2 loss to Chelsea, Arsenal have now lost the first two games of a Premier League season for the first time since 1992/93. Frustration is growing among fans, especially toward midfielder Granit Xhaka.
Xhaka was substituted at half-time against Chelsea, replaced by new signing Lucas Torreira. After the match Unai Emery explained his decision for the substitution, stating via Metro: "It was a tactical decision because he has the yellow card also.
"I think we don’t take risks with this yellow card and also to give the chance to another player in the match."
Those words accurately describe Arsenal fans' sentiment toward Xhaka. They feel he no longer belongs in the starting eleven and Torreira should be his immediate replacement.
Xhaka is in the Arsenal fans' firing line, and the snipes kept flying on Twitter:
He should not have started anyway— Jide Ajiboye (@Lajeeday) August 18, 2018
Xhaka needs to be sold, not good enough— John Mather (@JohnMather27) August 18, 2018
Xhaka has yet to earn the trust of Arsenal fans since signing in 2016. He was bought from Borussia Monchengladbach with the hope he'd add steel and composure to the Arsenal midfield, but it hasn't worked out for him so far at the Emirates.
Fans were already calling for him to be dropped from the side after Arsenal's 2-0 loss to Manchester City in the first match of the season.
Arsenal are a team in transition. This is a club clearly trying to take itself forward, away from its recent regrettable past. Change is inevitable now under new manager Unai Emery, and the fans are clearly hoping the next shift will see Xhaka on the substitute bench.