Granit Xhaka has stated that Arsenal didn’t deserve to play European football at all next season after a disastrous defeat against Newcastle.
Hoping to retain top-four, Arsenal headed to St James’ Park knowing only victory would keep them ahead of Tottenham but Mikel Arteta’s side crumbled under the pressure as Bruno Guimaraes capped an emphatic.
Arsenal were chasing a Champions League qualification spot, sitting two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur (68), but were second best throughout in their 2-0 loss at St James’ Park.
The hosts dominated the match and scored twice in the second half, first through a Ben White own goal and then a Bruno Guimaraes strike after the Arsenal defence was left flat-footed.
Reacting to this shock, Xhaka did not hold back on what he thought of his side’s performance, which leaves them hoping for a miracle on the final day to avoid a sixth successive season out of Europe’s elite competition.
“It’s difficult to find the right words. From the first minute to the 90th we didn’t deserve to be on the pitch,” the Swiss told Sky Sports.
“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.”
The 29-year-old, who has had a turbulent time at Arsenal after being stripped of the captaincy in 2019, denied that inexperience in Mikel Arteta’s squad was a problem.
“If someone isn’t ready for this game, stay at home. 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,” he said.