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By Tom Sanders
Troubled Arsenal skipper Granit Xhaka was reportedly visited by three senior Arsenal players at his home following the club's 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Sunday.
It was a difficult and emotionally-fraught afternoon for the Gunners captain after he reacted angrily to a series of boos and ironic cheers from the home crowd after being subbed off in the second half.
Arsenal managed to squander a 2-0 lead at the Emirates, and were drawing 2-2 when manager Unai Emery replaced Xhaka with Bukayo Saka with 30 minutes of the game left to go.
Both Xhaka and the fans reacted poorly to the substitution, with fans booing Xhaka as he made his way off the pitch and the Swiss midfielder responding by cupping his hands to his ears, swearing at the fans and angrily removing his shirt as he made his way down the tunnel.
The incident went down extremely poorly amongst Arsenal supporters, with some fans demanding he should be stripped of the captaincy and others claiming that his position within the club has now become untenable.
Unai Emery has also come under heavy fire, with rumours swirling that the manager is dangerously close to getting the sack.
And according to The Athletic, Xhaka was apparently so devastated over the incident that he was later visited by thee senior Arsenal players at his home later that day in an attempt to console him and draw a line under the whole situation.
The report also claims that Xhaka may have left the ground early in an attempt to escape a baying mob of Arsenal fans.
Xhaka was far from Arsenal's worst player on Sunday, but has been made a scapegoat under Unai Emery, with many considering the player to be 'Emery's man' in the dressing room.
And as Emery's popularity within the club appears to be in terminal decline, so is that of his captain.
But while rumours abound regarding dressing room bust-ups, the report stresses that these claims cannot be verified and that Xhaka continues to have the support of his team-mates.
Meanwhile, Arsenal legend Ian Wright tore into Xhaka on Match of the Day 2, claiming that his behaviour was unacceptable and that fans are owed an apology from their skipper following his strop against Palace.
"He should have apologised already."
What did you make of Granit Xhaka's reaction to the #AFC fans? pic.twitter.com/MaQr0Kl5PF
- Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) October 28, 2019
Wright said: "I don't like any players getting booed.
"But this is the captain. Now I think that they're frustrated with the fact that he's not run off.
"He's now goading them.
"We're talking about fans that have watched him in the four years he's been there have a handful of good games and he's treating the fans like that.
"He should apologise - that's the captain. That's not captain's behaviour"
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