Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has slammed his teammates following a “disaster” of a performance against Newcastle United on Monday.
Arsenal began the day two points behind Tottenham Hotspur in the league, knowing that fourth place and a place in the Champions League was still within their grasp.
Mikel Arteta’s team, however, were bullied, outfought, and outplayed by the Magpies at St James’ Park, and were fortunate not to be losing before half-time.
“So difficult to find the right words, we came here to show a different game but from the first minute to the 90th we didn’t deserve to be on the pitch,” Xhaka told Sky Sports News.
“I cannot explain to you why [our performance was poor]. We didn’t do what the game plan was, not listening to the coach and doing our own things, and when you do your own things these games happen.
“What happened was a disaster performance. Like this you don’t deserve to play the Champions League, you don’t even deserve to play Europa League. It’s very hard to take it at the moment, I don’t know why we are not doing what the coach is asking of us.
“If someone isn’t ready for this game, stay at home. Simple as that. Doesn’t matter the age – you can be 30, you can be 35, you can be 10, you can be 18, if you are not ready for that or nervous, stay on the bench or stay at home. Don’t come here.
“We need people to have balls, sorry to say that, to come here to play because we knew this game was one of the most important games for us. When you perform like this, it’s unacceptable.
“I feel very very sad for us, very disappointed, and very very sorry for the people that came over here to support us, the Arsenal supporters. This is not the way we wanted to go, I can only say sorry to them, I don’t have any other words.”
On the last day of the season, the Gunners will host Everton at the Emirates, but Tottenham can win a top-four spot with a point against bottom-placed Norwich City.