Cape Town - Arsenal manager Unai Emery reportedly
fears there may be a negative response from his players if he decides to
remove Granit Xhaka as club captain.
The 27-year-old told Gunners' supporters to "f*** off" as they
reacted to his substitution during Sunday's 2-2 Premier League draw at
home to Crystal Palace.
Arsenal had flown out of the blocks and were two goals ahead inside
10 minutes as defenders Sokratis Papastathopoulos and David Luiz struck
106 seconds apart.
However, Palace would leave the Emirates Stadium with a point as Luka
Milivojevic converted a penalty awarded by the video assistant referee
after Wilfried Zaha had initially been booked for diving, with Jordan
Ayew's second-half header pegging Arsenal back.
But the talking point came after 61 minutes as Xhaka, a decisive
figure among Arsenal supporters was substituted for Bukayo Saka.
Xhaka's withdrawal was initially greeted by large cheers, which soon
turned to jeers as he took his time to leave the pitch despite the score
He reacted by waving his arms, cupping his ears and mouthing
expletives as he pushed away a handshake from Emery, took off his shirt
and headed straight down the tunnel.
And now The Sun claims that Emery 'fears a dressing-room revolt' if he strips the Switzerland international of the captaincy.
Xhaka has so far refused to issue an apology over the incident at Palace despite Arsenal's attempts to 'persuade their skipper'.
Emery 'plans' to take the armband away from Xhaka but The Sun says he is 'facing an angry backlash from his squad'.
The report added: 'A number of senior Arsenal players are appalled at
the brutal treatment which Xhaka has received from the club's fickle
- TeamTalk Media