Granit Xhaka stripped of the A...


Granit Xhaka stripped of the Arsenal captaincy following Emirates outburst

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Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has confirmed that Granit Xhaka has been stripped of the club's captaincy. 

The Swiss midfielder hasn't featured since the outburst that came with his substitution at home to Crystal Palace on October 27th.

Xhaka apologised for the incident in the days afterwards, claiming he'd reached "boiling point" due to persistent online abuse coupled with the jeers of the Emirates faithful on the day.

The 27-year old has again been omitted from the Arsenal squad that's travelled to Portugal for their UEFA Europa League game with Vitoria de Guimaraes.

Xhaka was part of Unai Emery's controversial five-man captaincy group at Arsenal, but the Arsenal boss says group has now been trimmed, "He's not here today but also I think we need to take time with him, first to protect him and also to be calm and training with us every day.

"But I was speaking with him this morning and also I decided he's not one of the captains in our group and I decided that and I told him this morning."

At his pre-match press conference, Emery was asked how Xhaka had taken the news, "He accepted my decision and also I told the captain and other captain my decision, we need to carry on and to focus on tomorrow’s match and Saturday’s match.

"I needed to take one decision, and now it is closed."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been handed the armband ahead of Wednesday's Group F game, "We have now Aubameyang, Hector [Bellerin], [Alexandre] Lacazette and [Mesut] Ozil - they are the four captains, and first is now Aubameyang," Emery told the press on Tuesday evening.

The under-pressure Spaniard is hoping to dust his hands of the Xhaka issue now, "For me, it's finished, that moment and that issue and his future with us is coming for the next weeks or the next months and now we need to be focused for tomorrow."

The game with Guimaraes has been brought forward to Wednesday as the Portuguese side's local rivals Braga are set to play at home on Thursday.

Their grounds are only 20-minutes apart, and the moving of the Arsenal fixture is an effort to avoid traffic congestion and stretching of local authority resources.

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Alexandre Lacazette Arsenal Granit Xhaka Hector Bellerin Mesut Ozil Pierre Emerick Aubameyang Premier League UEFA Europa League Unai Emery Vitoria De Guimaraes

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