Arsenal: Granit Xhaka SLAMS his team-mates after 2-0 defeat by Newcastle but Gary Neville hits back

Granit Xhaka hit out at his Arsenal team-mates after their 2-0 defeat to Newcastle as he appeared to suggested some of them did not deserve to be on the pitch. 

However, Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher hit back at the midfielder, labelling him a disgrace for seemingly criticising the younger members of Arsenal’s squad.

Arsenal headed to the North East knowing only a victory would see them overtake Tottenham into fourth but after a woeful 2-0 defeat, Mikel Arteta’s side look have now all but thrown away a Champions League spot that once looked guaranteed.

Granit Xhaka (centre) hit out at his Arsenal team-mates after their 2-0 defeat to Newcastle

Mikel Arteta's (above) side saw their Champions League hopes take a hit in the defeat

Mikel Arteta’s (above) side saw their Champions League hopes take a hit in the defeat

However, Xhaka suggested the Gunners do not deserve to secure the coveted Champions League spot over their London rivals. 

Speaking to Sky Sports following the game, the 29-year-old said: ‘It’s difficult to find the right words. From the first minute to the 90th we didn’t deserve to be on the pitch.

‘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.

Speaking after the game, Xhaka suggested the Gunners do not deserve European football

Speaking after the game, Xhaka suggested the Gunners do not deserve European football

‘I don’t know why we’re not doing what the coach is asking for us.’

When asked if inexperience in the squad was an issue, Xhaka replied: ‘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. Sorry to them [fans], I don’t have any other words.

‘The dressing room is very quiet. The game plan was totally different to what we did over 90 minutes.

Newcastle took the lead after the ball was bundled over the line by Arsenal defender Ben White

Newcastle took the lead after the ball was bundled over the line by Arsenal defender Ben White

Bruno Guimaraes doubled the lead in front of an open goal with just six minuted remaining

 Bruno Guimaraes doubled the lead in front of an open goal with just six minuted remaining

‘We are waiting for six years. We had everything in our hands. We looked like we were in the position where Newcastle are and they were where we are.’

Xhaka reiterated his view to BBC Sports before admitting Arsenal still have the chance to snatch fourth on the final day of the season but that it is no longer in their hands.  

‘If Tottenham lose and we win, you never know in football,’ he told BBC Sports. ‘We have to hope. 

‘Before the game everything was in our hands. It’s a totally different game now. If you have to hope in football and in life it’s different.’

Following Xhaka’s brutally candid comments, Neville and Carragher slammed him for criticising the younger members of Arsenal’s squad. 

Gary Neville (right) and Jamie Carragher (centre) slammed the midfielder for his comments

Gary Neville (right) and Jamie Carragher (centre) slammed the midfielder for his comments

Former Manchester United defender Neville called Xhaka out for his double standards, arguing the Switzerland international could not be in a position to call anyone out after being a disgrace at times for the club.

‘I don’t know what to make of that,’ he said. ‘He’s having a right dig at players in the dressing room. 

‘I hope he wasn’t having a go at these young players. He has been a disgrace at times, getting sent off et cetera. He has left it up in the air there.’

Neville called Xhaka out for his double standards, labelling him as a disgrace on Sky Sports

Neville called Xhaka out for his double standards, labelling him as a disgrace on Sky Sports

Xhaka has disappointed the north London side at times, being sent off twice this season

Xhaka has disappointed the north London side at times, being sent off twice this season

Carragher echoed his co-pundit’s opinion, insisting that the place to come out with ‘powerful words’ is on the pitch, not in interviews. 

‘We like players to come out in interviews,’ he said. ‘Easy to come out and be powerful with your words. But do it on the pitch. 

‘He has called out some of the young players, some not ready…

‘I love players being honest and straight but it is easy to do that…he was part of that. It was like everybody was involved in that.’

Ben White’s own goal and Bruno Guimaraes’s late strike saw Eddie Howe’s team snatch all three points at St James’s Park. 

Arsenal now host relegation battlers Everton on the final day of the season knowing they need a win and a defeat for Tottenham to have any chance of clinching top four. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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