The Manchester United legend hit out at Xhaka for his post-match comments at Newcastle.
Gary Neville has slammed Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka for his comments after the club’s 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United.
The Gunners were second best at St. James’ Park and, therefore, lost the chance to reclaim fourth from Tottenham in the Premier League table. They remain two points behind their rivals. With only one game left before the season packs up, however, their Champions League qualification chances are now in serious doubt – much to Xhaka’s frustration.
What did Xhaka say?
Speaking to Sky Sports after the final whistle, the Swiss said: “It’s difficult to find the right words. From the first minute to the 90th 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. What happened was a disaster performance. You don’t deserve to play [the] Champions League or even [the] Europa League. It’s very hard to take it at the moment.
“I don’t know why we’re not doing what the coach is asking for us.”
Xhaka added: “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. You need people to have the balls to come here and play. It’s one of the most important games for us. We’re feeling very disappointed for the people who came over here,” he said.
“Sorry to them [the fans], I don’t have any other words. The dressing room is very quiet. The game plan was totally different to what we did over 90 minutes. We are waiting for six years [to play in the Champions League.] We had everything in our hands.”
Neville hits back
In response to Xhaka’s comments, Neville said: “I think I heard him say, ‘stay at home if you haven’t got the balls’. So he’s obviously having a go at people in his dressing room.
“I don’t know who he’s having a go at, I hope he wasn’t having a go at the younger players…him? I tell you what he’s been a disgrace at times over the last four or five years, getting sent off recklessly. He’s left it up in the air there, that was nothing there.”
A Ben White own goal and then a Bruno Guimaraes strike in the second half sent Arsenal crashing to the 2-0 loss at Newcastle on Monday.
The Gunners next play Everton at the Emirates on Sunday for their final game of the season. Mikel Arteta’s side must beat the Blues and hope Tottenham lose to the relegated Norwich to nail a top-four finish.