I was going to let this slide, but with the fanbase split once again I thought I would chirp up.
Granit has issued a statement.
After taking some time to reflect on what happened on Sunday afternoon, I would like to give you an explanation rather than just a quick response.
The scenes that took place around my substitution have moved me deeply. I love this club and always give 100% on and off the pitch.
My feeling of not being understood by fans, and repeated abusive comments at matches and in social media over the last weeks and months have hurt me deeply.
People have said things like “We will break your legs”, “Kill your wife” and “Wish that your daughter gets cancer”.
That has stirred me up and I reached boiling point when I felt the rejection in the stadium on Sunday.
In this situation, I let myself be carried away and reacted in a way that disrespected the group of fans that support our club, our team and myself with positive energy. That has not been my intention and I’m sorry if that’s what people thought.
My wish is that we get back to a place of mutual respect, remembering why we fell in love with this game in the first place.
Let’s move forward positively together.
First thing to say is that this is not an apology, it’s mitigation. It was released on his personal site for a reason. I suspect it’s because he has refused to make the type of groveling apology that the club would have wanted to release on their official site. Emery said he must apologise, he asked him to apologise and he simply hasn’t, and why the hell should he?
Emery is not, and has not helped matters one little bit, it’s almost a week on and he hasn’t given any indication as to whether Granit is still the club captain or not. Make a decision man! This would help to put it to bed, one way or another. It was bad enough that he dragged his appointment as captain out for months, and now this. Back him or sack him, but do something.
It’s quite clear that the players are fully square behind him continuing as captain. Just today Martinez and Chambers have publicly said it in no uncertain terms. Now let’s face it, he’s their captain first, they are the ones he leads, and it’s the team that matters most, not a bunch of prissy little abusive fans that think they deserve a personal apology.
The club had, and might still have, a great opportunity here, back him to continue as captain, no fine and perhaps a mild rebuke for his reaction. This would sent a message to the low life scum that boo and jeer, that it’s not acceptable. Maybe, just maybe, something good can come out of this whole mess if these fans are shown that they have massively overstepped the mark.
People are quick to proclaim that “this is no way for the Arsenal captain to behave”, but I say it’s exactly how he should behave.