Former QPR goalkeeper Paddy Kenny has slammed Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka for criticising his teammates in the aftermath of a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United on May 16. Xhaka came down hard on his Gunners teammates for a disappointing outing against the Magpies.
Arsenal were in desperate need of a reaction against Newcastle after suffering a humiliating 3-0 defeat to arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur. However, they were completely outplayed by the Magpies as an owl goal from Ben White and a Bruno Guimaraes strike helped Eddie Howe's side claim a 2-0 victory.
Arsenal's latest result has left them in fifth place, two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with just one game left to play.
Xhaka was fuming after the game, and ripped into his teammates, saying, "if someone isn’t ready for this game, stay at home."
Kenny believes the Switzerland international should not have made such comments since he is a player 'who has lost his team points in the past'.
“Don’t get me wrong, he has played well this season. He has worked his way back in there. But when you slam your players like that, there have been so many games where he has let the side down and been sent off.
“It’s double standards and you have to be careful when you are a player who has lost his team points in the past. It’s a bit rich coming from him and I don’t think he should have said it. I’m not sure who it helps," Kenny told Football Insider.
Tottenham are favorites to finish fourth ahead of Arsenal as they are two points clear of Mikel Arteta's side and will face bottom-placed Norwich City on the final day of the season.
The Gunners, on the other hand, will face an Everton side that will be buoyed by their incredible 3-2 win over Crystal Palace. Frank Lampard's side secured their Premier League status thanks to their win over the Eagles.
Arsenal are in desperate need of leaders and big characters in their dressing room
Despite Arsenal's progress under Mikel Arteta, the club's lack of leadership and character has been a massive source of concern for fans and pundits. The north London club were in prime position to claim a top-four spot in March.
But three consecutive defeats to Crystal Palace, Brighton, and Southampton exposed the club's lack of depth and leadership and jeopardized their chances of finishing in the top four.
They managed to claim impressive victories over Chelsea, Manchester United, and West Ham, which once again put them in a position of strength over Tottenham in the race for Champions League qualification.
But again, disappointing losses to Conte's side and Newcastle United displayed the Gunners' inability to churn out results consistently and show character when they needed it most.
The likes of Granit Xhaka and Alexandre Lacazette are seen as seasoned veterans at the Emirates Stadium. The duo, however, lack the consistency to be leaders.
The club must therefore attempt to sign some world-class players and big personalities who will be able to make an impact in the dressing room with their performances.