To start with, the Gunners will want to forget Monday's game in a hurry. They were second best to in-form Newcastle throughout as a Ben White own goal put them 1-0 behind before Bruno Guimaraes put the game to bed.
TWO!!— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 16, 2022
Bruno Guimarães doubles Newcastle's lead! Arsenal's top four hopes are up in smoke 😮 pic.twitter.com/s457bEUvlS
After the full-time whistle, a furious Granit Xhaka claimed his side do not deserve to play in the Champions League or Europa League next season in a scathing assessment of their lacklustre performance against the Magpies.
He went on to accuse his teammates of lacking "balls to play" before suggesting that the Arsenal dressing room ignored Mikel Arteta’s instructions.
You can see that remarkable post-match interview below.
"If someone isn't ready for this game, stay at home"— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 16, 2022
Granit Xhaka says the Arsenal players didn't deserve to be on the pitch today 😓 pic.twitter.com/OdC37x3TAG
Xhaka began: "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 Champions League or even 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."
When asked if inexperience was an issue during the Premier League clash at St James' Park, Xhaka responded: "If someone isn't ready for this game, stay at home.
He added. "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. Sorry to them [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. We had everything in our hands. We looked like we were in the position where Newcastle are and they were where we are."
In another post-match interview with the BBC, a furious Xhaka once again mentioned the fact that some of his teammates Arteta's instructions.
"We wanted to have a big game but it didn't happen," he said. "It's so difficult to find the right words. If you don't listen to the coach and do your own stuff, it doesn't work.
"People speak always about leaders. We're not playing tennis, we're playing football. If someone is not ready for this pressure, stay at home. You can't come here and play like this. We looked very bad today. The game plan was totally different. We played a totally different game.
"They were running us over from the first minute to the 96th. When you play like this you don't deserve to play in the Champions League. The thing is the pressure. If you can't handle the pressure, it ends like today. It looks like we can't do something against the pressure."
Xhaka's controversial interview certainly got people talking. In the Monday Night Football studio, both Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher analysed his comments.
In fact, Neville branded him a "disgrace" following the comments.
“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," the former Manchester United full-back said.
“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.”
Thoughts on Xhaka's interview?
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Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports
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