Sky Sports presenter and Arsenal fan Laura Woods has slammed Granit Xhaka and some of his Gunners teammates who “don’t want to play” for manager Mikel Arteta.
Xhaka was sent off just before the hour mark in Sunday night’s 1-0 home defeat to Burnley, in which Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s own goal condemned the hosts to a fourth successive Emirates Stadium loss in the Premier League.
With Arsenal down in 15th in the table, pressure is growing on Gunners boss Mikel Arteta as he searches for a way to arrest the club’s steep decline.
Woods, presenting the talkSPORT Breakfast show, launched into a scathing criticism of Xhaka and his teammates on Monday morning, with her opinions sure to be shared by many Gunners fans around the globe.
“What really winds me up is that Arsenal are meant to be a top team in the Premier League,” she said.
“They are all probably on excellent wages at that club, you live in London and have a great life, you’ve got a manager coming in who wants to play great football – potentially – and you don’t have the discipline to be a professional footballer and conduct yourself on the pitch in the way you are supposed to.
“Granit Xhaka has had numerous warnings before; he’s had the wrath of Arsenal fans, he was the captain and had it stripped off him.
“He’s had numerous chances again and again, and at that moment there is literally no excuse for it.
“Don’t throttle a player who wasn’t even really involved and is probably one of the smallest players on the pitch! It was just such an odd thing…
“It wasn’t even a fiery moment of madness; there were two moments in there and he had the opportunity to walk away and he didn’t. And he carried on and throttled Ashley Westwood and got sent off, quite rightfully.
“[Mohamed] Elneny could have been sent off as well and we could have been down to nine men! It could have been even worse and I think we’re quite lucky to get away with a 1-0 loss at home.
“Why are you a Premier League footballer and can’t control yourself on the pitch?
“Whether or not you think Mikel Arteta is the right man for the job, he is the one who will have to suffer for it.
“And the Arsenal fans who paid their money to watch that after not going for nine months get to watch that dross…
“I don’t know where to start with it, because I feel like there are players in that dressing room who don’t want to play for him, probably don’t want to play for themselves…
“I just don’t get it.”
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