By 90Min
October 28, 2019

Granit Xhaka stole the headlines for all the wrong reasons on Sunday in Arsenal's 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.

After the Gunners had thrown away a two-goal lead, some fans turned on their captain as he reacted to ironic jeers at his substitution on the hour mark by waving his arms, sarcastically cupping his hands to his ear and telling the Emirates faithful to 'f**k off' before taking his shirt off and storming down the tunnel.


The Swiss international has divided opinions since his arrival in 2016 and was named captain by Unai Emery this season despite having committed more errors leading to goals than any other player in an Arsenal shirt over the past three seasons (and that squad contains Shkodran Mustafi).

His consistently poor performances have been a source of great frustration for Gooners, and so they may want to look away now, as we look back at his five worst moments in an Arsenal shirt.

Conceding A North London Derby Penalty


Playing in the position that Xhaka does, giving away penalties can happen, but the former Borussia Monchengladbach man has given away so many in his time at Arsenal, that picking just one was difficult.

Key penalties against Bournemouth and Brighton stand out, but the one in this season's first North London Derby in September was by far the worst.

With the Gunnes a goal down to their fiercest rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Xhaka inexplicably decided to dive in on Heung-min Son, allowing Harry Kane to make it 2-0 from the spot. Arsenal went on to draw the game 2-2, and how important those dropped points will be in the race for the top four remains to be seen.

Loose Pass Against Wolves

Sure, the modern day defensive midfielder might not be all about tackling in the way that Claude Makélélé was in his heyday. I mean look at Sergio Busquets, he's one of the best DMs in the world and has made his name by receiving the ball from his defenders and starting attacks, rather than by flying into tackles. 

Passing is a necessary string to the modern deep-lying midfielder's bow, but the problem is, Granit Xhaka isn't particularly good at it.

His loose pass against Wolves last season gave the ball straight to Ivan Cavaleiro in front of the Arsenal defence who went on to score almost straight after. It's one of a catalogue of passing errors that Xhaka's detractors can bring up to criticise him, but it's probably the worst.

Red Card Against Burnley

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OK, so he can't really pass very well, but he's a defensive midfielder, so surely he can tackle, right? Wrong.

The Arsenal captain has a tackle success rate of just 67% since he came into the club and has committed an average of three fouls per game this season. He has been a disciplinary nightmare during his time in England as well, receiving two red cards and 29 yellows.

The red against Burnley in 2017 has to be the worst though. With the Clarets threatening to counter, Xhaka came over and tried to cynically trip Steven Defour, but got it horribly wrong. Instead he took out the Belgian midfielder with a horrific two-footed lunge that left Arsenal facing an uphill battle against a resolute Burnley side. Thankfully, they came through as winners.

Ducking a Shot Against Manchester United

When Granit Xhaka came into the Arsenal squad he was expected to bring a bit of the mettle that the Gunners have long been criticised for lacking. 

But in one of the biggest games of Arsenal's season so far against top four rivals Manchester United, he ducked under Scott McTominay's goal-bound shot, allowing the Red Devils to take the lead. 

Arsenal have been blessed in the past with captains like Tony Adams, Frank McLintock and Patrick Vieira who were willing to put their body on the line for the cause. Granit Xhaka does not deserve to be amongst those names.

Telling the Fans to 'F**k Off' Against Crystal Palace

Alex Morton/GettyImages

Despite all the terrible moments he's had as an Arsenal player, Sunday's outrageous behaviour has to be the worst - although technically he wasn't wearing the Arsenal shirt for some of it.

Arsenal fans did not cover themselves in glory with their reaction to their own captain being substituted. After all, he's not the first Arsenal captain to embarrass the club and it is Unai Emery who elects to pick him every week.

But Xhaka's reaction of swearing wildly and trudging off the pitch when his team needed a quick response was simply not befitting of an Arsenal leader. Arsene Wenger's last request to Arsenal was that they carry on the values of the club. Their captain's actions on Sunday were the opposite of that.

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