Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka's half-time outburst during their 2-0 loss against Newcastle United last season was revealed in the 'All or Nothing' documentary. The Switzerland international urged his teammates to 'wake up', comparing them to a second division team.
The Gunners faced Newcastle in their penultimate game of the season in a must-win clash at St. James' Park last season on May 16. The north London side came into the game after a 3-0 defeat against arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Arsenal needed to beat Newcastle to stay in fourth spot in the Premier League standings, above Spurs, with just one game to go in the season. However, in an abysmal display, Mikel Arteta's men failed to mount any pressure on Newcastle. They were perhaps fortunate going into half-time with the scores goalless.
As they geared up for the second half, Xhaka blasted his teammates in the dressing room for their poor performance. He said (via Chronicle Live):
"Guys we are dreaming of the f----- Champions League. We are playing like a second division team, man. Everyone! Wake up now for 45 minutes guys. We have to play how they are playing. F--- me! Wake up guys! Wake up!"
Xhaka's words didn't work, though, as a Ben White own goal and a strike from Calum Wilson secured a win for Newcastle. Arsenal won their final game against Everton 5-1, but that was not enough to overtake Tottenham, who finished two points ahead of the Gunners.
Mikel Arteta's speech at half-time in Arsenal's loss against Newcastle
Manager Mikel Arteta also urged his players to step up at half-time in their loss against Newcastle United. He said:
"OK, life, when you want to achieve something, you have to suffer. You know that, yeah? You have to earn the right to play and, to do that, you have to win your duel; you have to be compact; you have to win the second ball, and you have to be first on the ball."
He admitted that Newcastle were much better than the Gunners as he urged his side to be more energetic to try and turn things around. Arteta said:
"At the minute, it's all them. In all the departments, it's all them, and we have to flick the switch. The best way to do it, guys, is having the ball."
"They have a deep free-kick here and a deep free-kick here, and, Mo (Elneny), they are coming with the ball. You come with the ball, and leave Gabi (Gabriel) there and Granit, and provoke them, something. Guys, we have to turn this around."
While Arsenal couldn't finish in the top four last season, they will be buoyed by their start to their 2022-23 Premier League campaign. After making five new signings, the Gunners have made a perfect start, winning both their games.
Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 2-0 on the opening day and Leicester City 4-2 last weekend. They will next face newly promoted Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, (August 20).