Arsenal Captain Xhaka left out of squad to face Liverpool as Unai Emery calls for apology to fans


Granit Xhaka has been left out of the Arsenal squad to face Liverpool on Wednesday night, but Unai Emery has refused to confirm if he will continue as captain.

The 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Sunday was overshadowed by the midfielder’s angry reaction towards supporters cheering his 61st-minute substitution.

The Gunners coach, speaking for the first time this afternoon since that game, said Xhaka was "devastated" following the incident with fans.

The first team squad reconvened at London Colney on Tuesday morning after being given Monday off. 

Emery is understood to have held meetings with senior figures at the club to discuss a range of possible sanctions including fining Xhaka and even demoting him from the club captaincy.

Further discussions were held on Tuesday with Emery also preparing his team for a daunting trip to Anfield.

Asked whether Xhaka would continue as captain he said: "I do not want to speak about that. First is to recover him. We cannot anticipate the circumstances.

"I prefer to keep moving.

"It's not easy for him and for the team. He is now devastated, sad. We spoke yesterday and Sunday night and this morning.

"He trained normally with the group but he is devastated. He is sad about that situation.

"His commitment is great every time. He wants to help. His behaviour was perfect in training, with the group and club. Really he knows he was wrong.

"He feels inside, very deep. It's normal as a human. Every player needs the supporters' support.

Asked whether the Switzerland international should have apologised, 
Emery said: "Yes. When we make individually some mistakes we need to make some apologies. I prefer to do that. We've suggested he do that.

"First is to recover him... We want him to be close with our supporters."

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