The Spanish right-back has taken to social media following his skipper’s clash with Gunners supporters in their game against Crystal Palace
Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin has posted a message of support for team-mate Granit Xhaka after the captain told fans to ‘f*ck off’ during the Gunners’ 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at the Emirates.
Unai Emery’s side raced into a 2-0 lead inside the opening 10 minutes after centre-backs Sokratis and David Luiz scored following corner kicks, but Arsenal allowed their opponents back into the contest.
VAR ruled that Calum Chambers had fouled Wilfried Zaha in the box and Luka Milivojevic duly converted the penalty, before Jordan Ayew restored parity with over half an hour left to play.
Following Palace’s equaliser, Emery substituted Xhaka for young winger Bukayo Saka, a decision met with cheers by the home faithful.
Xhaka, recently named Arsenal captain by Emery, appeared to take the fans’ reaction to his substitution poorly and walked off the field slowly, prompting boos from the Gunners support.
The midfielder then cupped his ear to the crowd and swore at them as he reached the sidelines, before ripping his shirt off and dropping it as he went straight down the tunnel, further inciting the crowd.
We are all humans, we all have emotions, and sometimes it’s not easy dealing with them. It’s time to lift each other up, not to push each other away. We only win when we are together. #COYG pic.twitter.com/dkDI7M3xew
— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) October 28, 2019
“[Xhaka] has been wrong,” Emery said in his post-match interview.
“He has been wrong, but we are going to speak [internally] about that situation. I want to listen to him and also to be calm, but, really, he was wrong in this action.”
Right-back Bellerin has since posted a message of support for his team-mate on social media that reads: “We are all humans, we all have emotions, and sometimes it’s not easy dealing with them. It’s time to lift each other up, not to push each other away. We only win when we are together.”
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It remains to be seen if Emery will strip Xhaka of the captaincy following the incident, but if he does, Bellerin will be among the names to replace him.
The Spaniard has been one of Emery’s ‘five captains’, alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil, although Xhaka was chosen as the main captain of the five.
Ozil has been in the process of being frozen out by Emery, having played just twice this season, which leaves Bellerin, Aubameyang and Lacazette as the leading contenders to take the armband.